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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Krewe of Lourdes Kicks Off Carnival Season, Gears Up for 71st Ball

(Pictured, l-r): The Krewe of Lourdes Royalty are Captain Shelby Nyree Lauzon, King Lenny Unbehagen and Queen Katherine Karcher Lemoine. Photo Courtesy of Barry Lemoine.

By Barry Lemoine

After a lengthy Reign Delay, The Krewe of Lourdes kicked off the carnival season with its annual Coronation Ball on Sunday, Oct. 18. Lenny Unbehagen was crowned King, Katherine Karcher Lemoine was crowned as Queen and Shelby Nyree Lauzon was named Captain of the annual Lourdes Carnival Ball which will take place at 8 p.m. Feb. 12 in the Frederick Sigur Civic Center, 8245 W. Judge Perez Dr., in Chalmette. A supper dance will follow the ball with entertainment provided by Harvey Jesus.

Katherine Karcher Lemoine said being Queen of the Krewe of Lourdes means a lot to her because it’s such a great time for a good cause.

“The traditions, costumes and revelry are all a beautiful part of this celebration,” said Lemoine. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring our community together and to raise money for Our Lady of Lourdes Church. 

Lemoine, a native of St. Bernard Parish, lives in Old Arabi with her husband, Barry. She is the Associate Vice Chancellor at Nunez Community College and serves on the St. Bernard School Board. Lemoine also volunteers with many local civic and community groups including the Voices Foundation, Chamber of Commerce and Old Arabi Neighborhood Association.

Lemoine’s commitment to service was instilled in her by her parents, Kevin and Tara Karcher.  

Lemoine’s colleague and friend Lenny Unbehagen is this year’s King. A gifted artist and educator, Unbehagen has worked with the Lourdes organization for 10 years, designing the ornate headpieces and collars that are such an integral part of the celebration. His work can also be seen with the Royal Court of Nemesis and on theatrical sets across the city of New Orleans.

Unbehagen, or King Lenny as he prefers to be called, said he is excited for his reign. “I’ve been looking forward to the ball for two years now and can’t wait to bring everyone together for this celebration.”

Unbehagen, a New Orleans native and long-time resident of St. Bernard Parish, serves as the Executive Dean of Continuing Education at Nunez Community College. He volunteers with a number of community organizations including the Chamber of Commerce, CASA and the Workforce Development Board. He and his wife, Belinda Bates Unbehagen, have four talented children, Sarah, Rebekkah, Rhett, and Abby and is loving “Papa ‘’ to three beautiful grandchildren, Levi, Gavin, Ellenore. 

Shelby Nyree Lauzon will reign as the Captain of the Krewe of Lourdes. She holds two Bachelors of Science degrees in Biology and Chemistry with plans of obtaining her MD and PhD. Lauzon has aspirations of studying genomic medicine. Lauzon’s love of carnival is instilled in her by her mother Theresa Lauzon who reigned as Queen of the Krewe of Lourdes in 2012 and her Father Roy who reigned as King in 2010. She is delighted to carry out her family’s involvement with the Krewe of Lourdes. 

“Being a part of the Lourdes Ball is a dream come true. I’m excited to be a part of this beautiful festivity and carnival legacy,” she said.

The ball is free and open to the public. Formal or cocktail attire is required for the ball and supper dance. The supper dance tickets are $70 per person which includes a buffet, live music, and drink setups. To purchase tickets for the supper dance, call Lena Nunez at 504-491-5266.

Lena Nunez, who has been a leader in the Lourdes organization for decades, said this year’s ball is very meaningful.

“After a one-year delay, we are so happy to be bringing the costumes and revelry back to the parish and know that Lenny, Katherine and Shelby would do a great job in representing Lourdes and our honored traditions.”

Also taking part in the celebration are Maids Camryn Cooper, Maegan Dobson, Brandi Dornan, Kati Hunnicut, Lindsey Serpas Jones, Dr. Cherie Kay Larocca, Dr. Kim Mason, Heather Morel, Alexandra Schneider, Lindsey Tassin; and Dukes Kaleb Chaupetta, Brennen Douglas Duplechain, Zakary Jaymes Ferand, Jerimy Haase, Chris Haines, Leroy Joseph Guidry, Todd Mason, Rob Allen Smith, Brett Thompson, Matt Woodward, as well as several other distinguished court members. 

Proceeds from the Krewe of Lourdes benefit Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church’s community center in Violet.

The Krewe of Lourdes past Queens held their annual luncheon to honor the 2022 Queen Katherine Karcher Lemoine. The Krewe of Lourdes Ball and Supper Dance will be Feb. 12, 2022, at the Fredrick Sigur Cultural Center. The Krewe of Lourdes donates all profits from the ball and supper dance to support the ministries and development of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Violet. For ticket information please contact Lena Nunez at 504-491-5266. (Pictured, standing, back row, l-r): Melanie Cannatella, Theresa Lauzon, Kristen Barton, Tracy Pertuccelli, Joan Garofalo, Joann Anderson, Katie Tommaseo, Cheryl Georgusis, Ruth Bertucci, Celeste McShane, Phyllis Diecidue, and Adele Faust. (Seated, l-r): Nora Egan, Lena Nunez, Katherine Lemoine, Nicole Dysart, and Judy Hoffmeister. Photo Courtesy of Katie Jackson Tommaseo.

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