The Krewe of Hermes looked to its past to create the theme for this year's parade and ball: "A Hermes Miscellany" included several previous themes and inspirations such as "The Great Mogul," "Sacred Bestiary," scenes from Shakespeare's "The Tempest," and new to the parade, "St. George and the Dragon," chosen by Hermes to also be the illustration of this year's ball invitation created by artist Manuel Ponce.

The krewe also has its ball the night before the parade, so on Thursday (Feb. 23), invited guests in costume de rigueur entered the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel to see the court presentation.

Joining Hermes LXXVIII on stage was her royal majesty, Miss Elizabeth Hale Rodriguez, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Raoul Pablo Rodriguez. Queen Elizabeth Hale attends Tulane University, home of the Green Wave, and is a member of the Tulane Club Rowing team, sails, and is a former competitive swimmer. It is therefore not surprising that her A-line gown was inspired by water. Designed by Suzanne Perron St. Paul, the gown's optic white French Solstiss lace captured an undulating water motif with scallops and waves defined by crystals, variegated sequins, and seed beads, further highlighted by arcs of iridescent aurora borealis Swarovski crystals that reflected a rainbow of colors. Pearl and chalk beads contrasted by silver metallic under layers created the effervescence of sea foam. A custom Moan's Couture crown and scepter further enhanced the water motif, and the ensemble was finished with the organization's mantle and Medici collar.

Her majesty's maids were Misses Claire Frances Alcus, Gillen Catherine Briede, Elise Marie Burk, Caroline Rebecca Korndorffer, Sarah Jane Lowentritt, Keegan Clare Marchese and Keil Elizabeth Senter.

The bearer of the flowers was Miss Katherine Mary Cibilich and the bearer of scepter was Miss Lauren Michelle Perlis.

Ladies in waiting were Misses Margaret Allen Atkins, Rosalie Frances Chapman, Gabrielle Marie Dennis, Toni Mary Elaine Gagliano, Abigail Elizabeth Gannon, Lauren Ainsley Klebba, Allison Lesley Langhetee, Kagan Pulitzer Levine, Macie Marie Rodriguez and Madison Kathyrn Rodriguez, Veronica Ofelia Rodriguez, and Gretchen Neuhoff Solomon.

Pages to Hermes LXXVIII were Connor Andrew Amorosi, Thomas Anthony Gennusa IV, Ryan Thomas McFarland, Andrew Michael Murphy, Nathan Armando Patron, Theodore Barrow Solomon, and John Michael Thomas

Guests in box seats included the many members of Queen Elizabeth Hale's family such as her mother, grandmother Mrs. Raoul P. Rodriguez, aunts Mrs. Vincent Victor Tumminello Jr. (who was queen in 1982 as Miss Marina Ofelia Rodriguez), Mrs. Roberto P. Rodriguez, Mrs. Ricardo J. Rodriguez, and Mrs. Ramon F. Rodriguez (also mother of lady-in-waiting Miss Veronica Ofelia Rodriguez). Also seen in box seats were Mrs. Steven L. Pettus, Miss Kelley A. Pettus, Mrs. Jimmie L. Pettus, Mrs. Ronald A. Fonseca, Mrs. Shirley Vige-Vicki, and Mrs. Ross Mouton-Kristen, as well as former queens such as the 50-year queen, Mrs. John C. Martin (who reigned in1967 as Miss Marilyn Ann Springer) and last year's queen Miss Luciana Elizabeth Bertucci, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Bertucci, who wore the same gold gown designed by Suzanne Perron St. Paul as she did  for the 2016 ball. (The krewe alternates silver and gold as color schemes for royal attire.)

After the court's promenade, dancing ensued, which was then followed by a supper dance featuring music by the Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra (which also performed at the presentation) and Escalade.


To reach Sue Strachan, send an email to or call 504.450.5904. Find her on Twitter and Instagram as @suestrachan504, with the hashtag #nolasocialscene. Visit her on Facebook. And, come back to for more New Orleans area event and party news and photos.