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Local News

February 2, 2013

Krewe of Aurora gets romantic at annual ball

PORT ARTHUR — The beauty of Mardi Gras lies in its ability to transcend meaning. For some, it’s about an overindulgence on less healthy substances. Others focus on the pageantry — glitzy costumes and gaudy jewelry. Still others make collecting beads their chief priority.              

    For Mary Ann Reed, it’s all about the footwear.

    “Are they not the most fabulous thing in the world?” she gushed, gesturing to her dazzling stilettos — which added approximately six inches to her 5’ frame.

    “I’ve had these shoes a week, and I’ve practiced walking in them every day,” the Port Arthur resident said. “My boss told me if I fall tonight, it’s not worker’s comp.”

    Can one pair of shoes be worth the prospect of a fractured limb? Absolutely, Reed says.

    “I’m Cinderella tonight,” she declared.

    She may have the shoes, but Reed need not fret about coaches and pumpkins. “Love and Legends,” the 21st Annual Majestic Krewe of Aurora Grand Ball showed no signs of screeching to a halt at midnight. In fact, at 10 p.m., as confetti rained down on newly-crowned King and Queen Aurora XXI Dominick and Danielle Faraci, the party was just getting warmed up.

    “This is so much fun,” exclaimed Kurt Vicarde, of Port Arthur.

    For Vicarde, a Lafayette transplant, Mardi Gras means preserving his roots.

    “Gotta keep up the Cajun heritage,” he said, waving his Bud Light in time to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”

    There was nothing negative about the amorous atmosphere on Saturday. From the hearts that adorned every square inch of the Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center, to the fireworks that ignited with the introduction of each duke and duchess, to the dancers shaking it on-stage in lipstick-red spangles — love was in the air.

    “It falls very close to Valentine’s Day, and we hadn’t done anything quite like that,” said Le Grande Bal Capitaine Peggy Simon. “This year we have the symbols of love — hearts, doves, crowns.”

    For Simon, who has an entire room dedicated to Mardi Gras in her Port Arthur home, this holiday is about the absence of limitations.

    “This is a hobby. It’s 365 days a year,” she said. “Once you get to this point, your brain shut down, adrenaline starts flowing — everybody’s having a good time.

    “It’s no holds barred.”

Email: ecallahan@panews.com

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