16th Annual Krewe of Allegro Mardi Gras Ball
article by Marlen Waters
Laissez les bon temps rouler! And that is just what a sell-out crowd of 450 in Ruston did to celebrate Mardi Gras and support the local arts organizations. This was the second year for the non-profit arts organizations housed in the Dixie Center for the Arts to work together as the Krewe of Allegro: Dixie Center for the Arts, North Central Louisiana Arts Council (NCLAC), Ruston Civic Symphony Society (RCSS), Ruston Community Theatre (RCT) and Troupe Dixie.
The Title Sponsor for the ball this year was Bank of Ruston. Other sponsors included: The Biscomb Family, Rogers Furniture and Gifts, Ruston Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau, John Emory, Sr., Elizabeth English, Nancy and Chris Turner, Marsala Beverage, Super 1 Foods, National Jewelry Company, Inc., Soap Opera of Ruston, The Space Station, Mary and Tom Kilpatrick, Lowes’s Home Improvement Store and Walmart.
The music for the evening was provided by celebrated local band, the Buddy Terzia Band. Buddy and his 10-piece show band provided tunes that spanned several decades. “We like to make sure everyone gets to dance to at least one of their favorites,” said band leader Terzia. “Our band members come from all over North Louisiana and East Texas just to play this gig.” Band members are Roy Waters, Craig Bostick, Doug Crawford, Tony Cortellini, Lisa Lee Phifer and Lisa Spann. The band also provided the traditional Second Line featuring the band’s horn section—Dave Duplissey, John LeBeouf and Al Roberts. Food for the evening was a variety of delectable Louisiana-inspired dishes catered by Linda Peevy. “The food was good; the music is always good. It’s a great chance for everyone to come out, get dressed up and have fun,” Libby English said.
King David Hedgepeth and Queen Melinda Maxwell presided over this year’s Ball. Dukes and Duchesses were: Sandra and Charles Hart for Dixie Center for the Arts; Amanda and Henry McCoy for NCLAC; Shirley and Randall Barron for Ruston Community Theatre; Brittany and Travis Napper for Ruston Civic Symphony Society and Rachel and Josh Shirley for Troupe Dixie.
One of the highlights of the event each year is the Silent Auction held by North Central Louisiana Arts Council. According to Slaughter, “This was a great year for our auction, and it is due to the generosity of our donors, the diligence of our committee and the buyers who placed winning bids. The Silent Auction is an important NCLAC fundraiser that goes towards funding NCLAC’s programming, like Summer Art Camps for Kids held in Ruston, and in various locations within Bienville, Claiborne, Jackson and Union Parishes, and the Holiday Arts Tour, a premier local economy-boosting event for local artists, craftspersons and business owners.
This year, funds raised from the 16th Annual Mardi Gras Ball support the “Sustaining Building Fund” to maintain the historic 1928 Dixie Theatre building and its adjacent properties. The Dixie Center for the Arts has served a pivotal role in the Ruston community over the years by providing a prominent place to promote the arts, and by safeguarding a piece of Ruston’s architectural and cultural history.
For more information on any of these organizations, call the Dixie Center for the Arts at 318-255-1450.