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Carnival Memphis

Crown & Sceptre Ball

Story by Gaye Swan | Photos by Don Perry 

Carnival Week began in grand style with the annual Crown & Sceptre Coronation Ball. Dressed to the nines, members of Carnival Memphis’ Royal Court and its Grand Krewes gathered at the Memphis Hilton for an elaborate presentation of the King and Queen of Carnival, along with the Royal Court. Although each of the Grand Krewes hold coronation balls to celebrate their own royal courts, this white tie affair was the occasion when the new King and Queen of Carnival ascended to their thrones.

Guests started the evening with cocktails before heading into the lavishly decorated dining room to take their seats at tables elegantly set with dashes of chartreuse, silver, turquoise, and bright pinks against black tablecloths. Lilies provided a lovely touch to the centerpieces, as well as a delightful fragrance. The focus of the room was the golden-hued thrones, and all eyes were upon King Robert Vernon Berry and Queen Catherine Tabor Owen as they were presented, followed by the charming young Royal Pages. Members of the Loyal Order of Scarabs formed part of the coronation procession. The Scarabs are a group of young men who served as the Royal Guard for Their Majesties, the King and Queen of Carnival. The 2019 Royal Court included 45 princesses of Carnival, beautifully dressed in white gowns – truly the “fairest of the land.” In keeping with Carnival tradition, the green-clad Boll Weevils concluded the presentation with a comical skit. Guests enjoyed a delicious meal complemented with wine, followed by dancing to the lively sounds of the Jimmy Church Revue.

Carnival Memphis has promoted the commerce of the Mid-South since 1931 and celebrated a selected business industry each year. In 2019 Carnival Memphis honored the Home Furnishings and Décor Industry. In addition, all Carnival and Grand Krewe Royalty participated in their community involvement program called the Carnival Children’s Charity Initiative, three local children’s charities are selected by Carnival and the Grand Krewes, begun in 1999. This year’s charities were Neighborhood Christian Centers, Palmer Home for Children, and Porter-Leath.

“Since 1999 we’ve raised over $2.8 million, with matching funds, and we added a record amount (*) to that total during this year’s Carnival Week,” said Ed Galfsky, Executive Director of Carnival Memphis. 

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