WYES presents the 2012 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 (February 21).
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 1962 and a century ago. Other features include a look at early 20th century photos, many of them Carnival-related, taken by photographer Alexander Allison and the Viareggio, Italy connection to the New Orleans Carnival. Also chronicled is the creation of Rex’s Butterfly King signature float, which debuted this year.
This year marked the final broadcast for Schindler, who is retiring from the annual broadcast. He has been with the program since 1997, when WYES began broadcasting the Rex Ball and Meeting of the Courts.