Fat Tuesday last hurrah for Mardi Gras season

Published 8:31 pm Tuesday, February 5, 2008

By Sherry Koonce

The News staff writer

NEDERLAND — Fat Tuesday, the official ending to Mardi Gras festivities, was celebrated in grand style Tuesday night with regalia as big as the state of Texas.

True to this year’s theme, “Deep in the Heart of Texas,” the king and queen, Roy and Julia Yeaman, dressed as Davy Crockett at the Alamo — complete with a cannon — and the yellow rose of Texas.

Hosted by Krewe Le BonTemps, the annual Fat Tuesday event, which is what Mardi Gras actually means, is the last hurrah before Lent. It’s designed to be a big party before everyone starts concentrating on fasting, and the Easter season.

Royalty from Southeast Texas krewes showcased feather and sequin costumes — some with plumes reaching toward the ceiling — while throwing beads to the season’s last revelers.

“I like to come here because it is comfortable, smaller and cozy,” said Gary Foster, 65, of Port Neches. A longtime member of Le Bon Temps, Foster said he planned to blow the night in preparation for the beginning of Lent.

“I’m planning to fast,” he said. “I’ve got to because I’ve been going at it for six weeks, and have just a couple of weeks to get my blood work down before I go to the doctor.”

Lasting until midnight, Fat Tuesday was at Brad’s Place in Nederland and was open to the public.

Carmen Letulle, 70, of Nederland and her husband, Tommy Letulle, 66, said they attend Fat Tuesday festivities every year for the camaraderie, the beads and the dancing.

Gina DeCuir, of Port Arthur, attended the Fat Tuesday party for the first time Tuesday, but wasn’t disappointed. A member of Krewe Mon Ami, DeCuir celebrated Fabulous Las Vegas Fantasy this year with members dressed as anything from showgirls to Elvis.

“It’s just a lot of fun,” she said.

Because the event is open to the public, many people who ordinarily would not attend Mardi Gras balls have the opportunity to see royalty dressed in costume.

“This is a great opportunity to see all the wonderful costumes the different krewes put together. And, it’s just a lot of fun,” said Barbara Smith, Mon Ami royalty director.

Contact this reporter at skoonce@panews.com

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