I always look forward to shooting this fabulous event, which is done annually to celebrate Mardi Gras in Washington, DC. The three days and three nights of celebration is known as one of the biggest parties of the year! For over 70 years, the Mystick Krewe of Louisianians has brought the pageantry, revelry and mystery of Mardi Gras to our nation's capital.
This celebration of New Orleans coming to DC is done to promote the agriculture, businesses and culture of the South. It is seen as a business-development tool.
The long weekend culminates in the Saturday night ball, presided over by the year’s King and Queen. The Queen and King of Mardi Gras are considered the “royalty” for the event, leading the festivities.
Saturday night is also a special night for the Princesses and Festival Queens as well. Each Festival Queen and Princess is formally presented and paraded around the ball room with a costumed Krewe member carrying a banner displaying her name. Each Princess is generally escorted by her father or grandfather.
This year, the D.C. Mardi Gras Ball took place at the Washington Hilton. The Washington Mardi Gras parade through the ballroom was a showstopper. The entire ballroom was transformed into an Alice in Wonderland theme, which was spectacular. Walking in, I immediately felt like I had fallen down a rabbit hole into the fantasy world populated by every peculiar, anthropomorphic Wonderland creature. Just like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, there was a long, narrow hall, filled with golden keys, and clocks, which lead us to a small door that opened into the beautiful wonderland garden. No corners were cut when it came to the décor, which was so well done. Every room was perfectly designed to play into the imaginative wonderland theme. I enjoy photographing the D.C. Mardi Gras event because it’s always an exciting experience, and every year they continue to outdo themselves!