Strange Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras turned upside down: Crazy wildness trumped by diplomacy in an unusual party fit for a knight

Crazy wildness trumped by diplomacy in unusual Mardi Gras fit for king

Bill Ansell and Alex Brown at the Knights of Momus Ball February 2015
King Frivolous Bill Ansell and Knights of Momus queen Alex Brown take bows at the Grand1894 Opera House in Galveston. Photo courtesy of Rhea's Photographic Art
Kevin and Kenzie Kate Newkirk, from left, and Macey and Michael Wegner at the Knights of Momus Ball February 2015
Kevin Newkirk and daughter Kenzie Kate Newkirk, left, with Macey Wegner and her father, Michael Wegner. Photo courtesy of Rhea's Photographic Art
Tony and Lisette Brown at the Knights of Momus Ball February 2015
Knights of Momus president Tony Brown and wife Lisette. Photo courtesy of Rhea's Photographic Art
Sally and Robert Kline at the Knights of Momus Ball February 2015
Knights of Momus Coronation Ball chairs Sally and Robert Kline. Photo courtesy of Rhea's Photographic Art
Kayleigh Silva at the Knights of Momus Ball February 2015
Kayleigh Silva. Photo courtesy of Rhea's Photographic Art
Chinese Consul General Li Qiangmin at the Knights of Momus Ball February 2015
Chinese Consul General  Li Qiangmin receives applause from the 700 Knights of Momus guests. Photo courtesy of Rhea's Photographic Art
Carly Gray and Travis Read at the Knights of Momus Ball February 2015
Carly Gray and Travis Read. Photo courtesy of Rhea's Photographic Art
Bill Ansell, left, and Tom Koch at the Knights of Momus Ball February 2015
King Frivolous Bill Ansell, left, and emcee Tom Koch. Photo courtesy of Rhea's Photographic Art
Bill Ansell and Alex Brown at the Knights of Momus Ball February 2015
Kevin and Kenzie Kate Newkirk, from left, and Macey and Michael Wegner at the Knights of Momus Ball February 2015
Tony and Lisette Brown at the Knights of Momus Ball February 2015
Sally and Robert Kline at the Knights of Momus Ball February 2015
Kayleigh Silva at the Knights of Momus Ball February 2015
Chinese Consul General Li Qiangmin at the Knights of Momus Ball February 2015
Carly Gray and Travis Read at the Knights of Momus Ball February 2015
Bill Ansell, left, and Tom Koch at the Knights of Momus Ball February 2015

GALVESTON — The hijinks were more delightful than unholy at the Knights of Momus Coronation Ball Saturday night when 700 members of the Krewe of Momus and friends packed the Grand 1894 Opera House for presentation of its Mardi Gras king, the queen and 21 duchesses.

The evening was billed as a salute to the "Knights of Shanghai" with a glittering presentation that featured cultural performances by the Houston Shaolin Academy and J&H Dance School. In the black-tie audience were special guests from Houston’s Chinese Consulate — Consul General Li Qiangmin, Deputy Consul General Zhao Yumin, Consul for Cultural Affairs Yang Song and Lily Zhang.

Diplomacy was everything on this night that can sometimes go wildly irreverent. 

Bill Ansell, a partner in DRDA, PLLC, was crowned King Frivolous C, introducing Rice University junior Alex Brown as Momus queen. Accompanying the king was his every-playful retinue comprised of Larry Charpentier, Frank Dominguez, Dr. Jim Grant, Craig Janek, Johnny Listowski, James McLean, Doug McLeod, Mike Piel and Bradford Thomas

Following the coronation and presentation of the duchesses, applauded for their skillful managing of the deep Texas bow, the merry throng moved to the Hotel Galvez where Sally and Robert Kline chaired the Coronation Ball. The Shanghai theme was replayed there in decor (think magical dragons and Chinese lanterns), entertainment (martial arts specialists, Chinese flute performances) and in the duchess gowns which reflected a rich Chinese culture. But it was Austin's Rotel and the Hot Tomatoes that got the party rocking with non-stop dance tunes.

The Houston/Galveston mix of guests included Lisette and Tony Brown, Libby Ansell, Jenny and Tom LaRue, Sally and Dr. Charles Scruggs, Ed Eubanks, Dancie and Jim Ware, Marta and Scott Lavinec, Nancy and Tom Daly and KTRK Channel 13 news anchor Tom Koch, who served as master of ceremonies for the evening.

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