I’ve always loved Carnival. As a child, I thought Mardi Gras was the most magical day of the year. I still do.
In 2013, I wanted to celebrate the arrival of Carnival Season by throwing a party. I invited everyone I knew. About 100 people attended that first party in my apartment. It was a huge success and I decided to do it again the following year. The second party drew an even larger crowd and I dubbed myself the “Lord of Misrule.” I also decided to name a “Grand Reveler.” Thus, the Mystik Krewe de la Rue Royale Revelers was born.
Each year we kick off the Carnival Season by throwing a fabulous 12th Night Party on January 6. The first Grand Reveler was my good friend, Jeffrey Palmquist.
The party became so popular it outgrew my apartment. Our regular venue for the party now is The Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture.
12th Night celebrations are a modern incarnation of the Feast of Fools, a popular festival during the Middle Ages, particularly in France, in which a mock bishop or pope was elected, ecclesiastical ritual was parodied, and low and high officials changed places.
The party features an open bar, go-go boys, a buffet, and the sounds of legendary DJ Jimmy Armstrong. The highlight of the evening is the arrival of the Lord of Misrule and the League of Distinguished Revelers. After a Royal Procession of previous Grand Revelers, the new Grand Reveler is presented. The coronation of the Grand Reveler is followed by the Meeting of the Courts of the Rue Royale Revelers and the Krewe of Queenateenas.
The Krewe de la Rue Royale Revelers was featured as part of the Louisiana State Museum’s exhibit “Grand Illusions: The History and Artistry of Gay Carnival” in 2019—2020.
Previous Grand Revelers include:
- 2014 First Party / no Grand Reveler
- 2015 Grand Reveler I–Jeffrey Palmquist
- 2016 Grand Reveler II–Will Antill, the Financial District Reveler
- 2017 Grand Reveler III–Rip Naquin, the Award-Winning Reveler
- 2018 Grand Reveler IV–Felicia Philips, the Cheese Reveler
- 2019 Grand Reveler V–Frank Perez (not the krewe founder), the Faux Reveler
- 2020 Grand Reveler VI—Duaine Daniels, the Peg-Legged Reveler
- 2021 No party due to COVID pandemic
- 2022 Grand Reveler VII–Misti Gaither, the Lesbian Mafia Reveler
- 2023 Grand Reveler VIII–Cody Devon McLain, the Eager Reveler