Continuing its tradition of Mardi Gras court presentations, the Knights of Momus, Galveston’s oldest krewe, officially launched the first weekend of Mardi Gras on Feb. 23 with the glamorous Coronation Presentation and Ball. Highlighting the event was the presentation of 28 duchesses from Houston and Galveston at The Grand 1894 Opera House as Momus saluted “Fiesta de Momus.” The duchesses charmed the sold-out audience of more than 900 with their Texas Bows and stunning haute couture-inspired gowns in a variety of vibrant colors designed by Miwa Sakashita of Houston.
To kick off the gala, guests flocked to a tented pre-party and were greeted with a 35-member mariachi band.
Dr. Todd Masel, Momus Ball captain, announced the reveal of King Frivolous CIV Victor Joseph Fertitta, a popular and beloved Galveston native, after showing his dance moves and musical talent while the crowd roared in applause. Momus Queen Blayne Alexandra Fertitta, a junior at University of Southern California, made a grand entrance on an ornate, colorful flower cart pushed by brothers Michael, Patrick and Blake Fertitta. The grandfather-granddaughter royal duo was only the second occurrence in Momus history. The members of the king’s retinue who joined the merriment on stage included sons Todd and Jay Fertitta, grandsons Michael, Patrick and Blake Fertitta, Josh Woods, and Momus friends and civic leaders James L. Ware, E. Douglas McLeod, Scott Kusnerik, J. Fellman Seinsheimer, III, and Paulie Gaido.
The Duchess Royal Court includes Lexie Ammons, Gracie Bassett, Nicole Blakley, Kristen Blakley, Kathryn Criaco, Katie Rose Cullen, Bailey Dodson, Kaki Duenner, Melissa Estrada, Blayne Fertitta, Chloe Flores, Hannah Herrold, Valerie Herrscher, Joanie Kelso, Sabrina Kesler, Hannah Kirby, Heather Kirby, Maria Koutrouvelis, Marissa Matthews, Macey McCann, Danielle Perugini, Devin Peterson, Cara Quigley, Sara Beth Shelton, Emlynn Smith, Amber Tribble, Morgan Vicknair, and Maddi Walser.
Following the presentation, guests crossed over the border of Mexico to the grand fiesta gala, chaired by Renee and Scott Rice, at The Galveston Island Convention Center at The San Luis Resort.
The vibrant décor, created by Richard Flowers of The Events Company, transformed the ballroom, accented by eye-catching paper flower walls, fiesta flags and eccentric metal centerpieces wrapped with large paper flowers, teleporting guests to the cobblestone streets of Mexico.
Show-stopping entertainment, featuring Chinatown of Austin and The Twins of Cabo San Lucas, kept the 900 plus guests entertained all evening. Guests danced the night away on the two dance floors wearing custom Mexican-inspired beads adorned with sugar skulls, including Momus President Hal Rochkind, and his wife Jessica, Ball Chairmen Renee and Scott Rice, King Frivolous CIV Vic Fertitta, and his wife Joy, Joanie and John Kirksey, Eryn and Stephen Ebaugh, Joan and Doug McLeod, Libbie and Bill Ansell, Jolyn and Russell Scheirman, and Karen Flowers and Ted Shook.
Festively-clad guests were mingled amongst the lounge area. Those enjoying the scene were Paige and Tilman and their family, Lori and Allan Matthews, Stephanie and Dan Perugini, Lisette and Tony Brown, Robyn and Mike Newburn, VJ Tramonte, Katie and Harry Cullen, Rose Cullen, Kim and Robert Kirschner, Dancie and Jim Ware, Vicki West and Ralph Burch, Jennifer and Frank Dominguez, Margie and Scott Kusnerik, Hailey and Thomas Kleiderer, Dianne and Fred Burns, Nicole and Doug LeBouef, Hayley and Jason Hardcastle, Kevin Teichman, and Cindy and Jim Earthman. Among the duchesses were Danielle Perugini, Madison Walser, Melissa Estrada, Marissa Matthews, Katie Rose Cullen and more.