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Shelby's Social Diary

Tilman Fertitta throws Mardi Gras Bash for a record 1,300 revelers — including Gabby Giffords

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Paige Fertitta, Tilman Fertitta, Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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Stacy Soriero, Kara Howes, Tiffany Wong Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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Swimsuit models provided the hottest photo opp of the night. Peter Knoll Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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Dancers from Fertitta's Golden Nugget in Las Vegas. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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Joan McLeod, Doug McLeod Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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Sheridan Williams, John Eddie Williams Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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Kara Neumann, Sharon Adams Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News_005_San Luis Salute_February 2012_Katherine Brock_Taylor Adams_Sarah Brock.jpg
Katherine Brock, Taylor Adams, Sarah Brock Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News_023_San Luis Salute_February 2012_Dancie Ware_Laura Ward.jpg
Dancie Ware, Laura Ward Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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Jocelyn Sullivan, Cara Koza Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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Paige Fertitta, Tilman Fertitta, Blayne Fertitta Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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The Philadelphia Mummers are regulars at the Fertitta Mardi Gras bash. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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Diane Lokey Farb, Mark Sullivan Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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Kirsten Mayell, Mike Mayell, Karen Mayell Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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Cerón, Todd Fiscus Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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Shelby Schulz, Sean Schulz Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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Amiko Kauderer, Scott Kelly Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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News_032_San Luis Salute_February 2012_Peter Knoll_swimsuit models.jpg
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News_031_San Luis Salute_February 2012_Joan McLeod_Doug McLeod.jpg
News_030_San Luis Salute_February 2012_Sheridan Williams_John Eddie Williams.jpg
News_029_San Luis Salute_February 2012_Kara Neumann_Sharon Adams.jpg
News_005_San Luis Salute_February 2012_Katherine Brock_Taylor Adams_Sarah Brock.jpg
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News_007_San Luis Salute_February 2012_Jocelyn Sullivan_Cara Koza.jpg
News_022_San Luis Salute_February 2012_Paige Fertitta_Tilman Fertitta_Blayne Fertitta.jpg
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Party meister Tilman Fertitta and his year-round Mardi Gras queen Paige Fertitta just can't help themselves when it comes to throwing the ultimate Galveston Mardi Gras bash. Saturday night's San Luis Salute to the island's South Beach-themed carnival had giddy revelers rollicking into the wee morning hours.

From the moment the curtains opened to reveal the vast ballroom, the entertainment was non-stop, beginning with the royal procession of Knights of Momus duchesses and King Frivolous.

The Philadelphia Mummers in all of their sequined and feathered glory launched the party, followed by party band Jessie's Girls and headliner Belinda Carlisle of the Go-Go's. In between, there were burlesque acts from Fertitta's Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, a swimsuit fashion show and a three-course dinner overseen by San Luis executive chef Brian Robertson

Who didn't love the oodles of hunky eye candy — beefy lifeguards for the ladies and sequined-bikini-clad barmaids for the guys? Those body beautifuls were just part the lavish decor (thank you The Events Co.) that embodied the hot colors and sizzling spirit of Miami's South Beach. Soaring faux palm trees, masses of tropical flowers and colorful lights on high beams lit up the ballroom for the San Luis Conference Center on Galveston's Seawall Boulevard.

 

The surprise guest on this evening was former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly. See more about her visit here.

It was the largest San Luis Salute to date, with some officials estimating the crowd at 1,300. As is tradition, the evening benefited the University of Texas Medical Branch and honored the Knights of Momus Royal Court along with a Medical Branch physician. This year, Dr. David Herndon took the spotlight. 

Among those joining the Fertittas at the head table were Houston Rockets CEO Tad Brown and wife Janice, Dancie and Jim Ware, Laura Ward, Joan and Doug McLeod, Tom Koch, Diane Lokey Farb and Mark Sullivan and Giffords and Kelly along with his twin brother, astronaut Scott Kelly with Amiko Kauderer.

Notable Mardi Gras celebrants included Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski and wife Rebecca,  Houston Astros CEO George Postolos and wife Nicole, State Rep. Carol Alvarado with Manuel Silva, State Rep. Craig Eiland and wife Melissa, Texas A&M University president Bowen Loftin and wife Karen, Karen and Mike Mayell, Patsy and Greg Fourticq, Sheridan and John Eddie Williams, Cathy and Dr. Gary Brock, Sharon Adams with Bill Wright, Maria and Neil Bush, Cerón and Todd Fiscus.

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