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Crown & Sceptre Ball

Coronation Celebration

Story by Emily Adams Keplinger | Photos by Don Perry

Carnival Week kicked off Carnival Memphis with its party of the year as members of the Royal Court and Grand Krewes of Carnival gathered at the Hilton Memphis for the Crown & Sceptre Ball. The event is the elaborate presentation of the King and Queen of Carnival, along with the Royal Court. Although each of the Grand Krewes have already held their separate coronations for their respective kings and queens and royal courts, the Crown & Sceptre Coronation Ball is the occasion when the King and Queen of Carnival are formally presented and ascend their thrones.

The White Tie affair began with guests mingling over cocktails. This year’s group of 25 Carnival Princesses, each wearing white gowns, visited with the crowd. Behind the scenes, Carnival Memphis royalty prepared for their formal presentation.

As the coronation ceremonies began, King Edward Dobbs escorted Queen Tayloe Lowrance through the Tennessee Ballroom. The Carnival Royal Pages, who included the King’s children and several family members, followed next in the procession, along with members of the Loyal Order of Scarabs.

“The Scarabs are a group of young men who serve as the Royal Guard for the King and Queen of Carnival,” explained Ed Galfsky, executive director of Carnival Memphis.

Next the “fairest ladies of the land,” the princesses of Carnival, were presented by their fathers and escorted to the front of the room, followed by the Ladies of the Realm. As the coronation festivities continued, royalty from each of the Grand Krewes were presented before the King and Queen. The Boll Weevils, wearing their unique costumes of green, concluded the procession. They presented their annual comical chaos (skit) which, this year, included a group of green “mini-mes.” To add to the frivolity, the mischief makers squirted silly string and tossed confetti as they ambled around the room.

As the evening progressed, guests settled down for dinner. Then The Jimmy Church Band provided musical entertainment that brought people back to their feet to dance the night away.

Dr. Jeff Cole served as 2017 President of Carnival as Carnival Memphis honored the Sports Industry.

“Carnival Memphis supports Memphis,” said Dr. Cole. “Each year we celebrate a different business industry. Additionally, each year we raise money for three children’s charities. This year our beneficiaries were Church Health, The Erika Center at Bodine School and Knowledge Quest. Since our Children’s Charities Initiative was started in 1999, we have raised close to $2.5 million dollars. We are pleased that our phrase, ‘Party with a Purpose,’ is being recognized more and more as tying the purpose of Carnival to making a difference in our community.”


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