WYES presents the 2011 Rex Ball in its entirety, along with the historic Meeting of the Courts of Rex and the Mistick Krewe of Comus. The broadcast took place on Mardi Gras night (March 8).
Comus, founded in 1857, is New Orleans’ oldest Carnival organization. It stages its pageantry on the same evening as Rex, founded in 1872. The Rex Ball was held at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel while the Comus Ball took place at the New Orleans Marriott, across the street from each other on historic Canal Street.
WYES host/producer Peggy Scott Laborde and Carnival historians Errol Laborde and Henri Schindler provide commentary throughout the evening. The program contains interviews with Rex and Comus royalty, past and present.
Diane Mack narrates a feature on Rex royalty in 1961 and a century ago. Marcia Kavanaugh shows us the photographs of John Tibule Mendes, an early 20th century photographer who chronicled Carnical. Another feature focuses on the history of Gallier Hall, New Orleans’ former City Hall and the location of toasts to Rex and other Carnival royalty during Mardi Gras parades.