The Krewe of African Kings held its Twenty-Fourth Annual Mardi- Gras Ball-Dinner at the St. Joseph Parish Hall, Pensacola, Florida on Saturday night, February 22, 2014, downtown. This invitation only Black tie and Ball gown formal affair crackled with excitement.
The Hall was decorated in the traditional Mardi-Gras colors. Egyptian Murals set the tone for the night. There were floating tinseled palms throughout the hall. Each table was individually decorated in their own flare. There were reaves, purple, green and gold colored trees, brilliant glasses and sparkling purple, gold and green glittered lights and table clothes.The walls were decorated in over sized Mardi Gras Icons, Faces, and Masks.
The Ball started with the traditional Dinner at 8:00 p.m. with the doors opening at 7:00 p.m. As the patrons entered the hall, they were welcomed by Krewe members dressed in traditional african costumes. An open bar was busy as guests were served their favorite cups of cheer. The patrons then linedup for the traditional “buffett” of food delights. Favorite dishes of red beans and rice, collard greens, baked chicken and ham, fried turkey,corn bread. baked sweet potatoes, etc., two varieties of cake, and sweet ice tea, were served.
After this feast fit for kings and queens, the Band started up. The Henry Williams’ Band fired up for the evening. This outstanding six member group consisted of two eloquent singers, two guitar players, a key boardman and drummer. This hot band who plays at the Hanniton Watts Post of north 12th Avenue and Fisher Street. The Band kept the patrons on the floor all night long, The Band was simple outstanding! They were great musicians, too. They played everythng James Brown to Chuka Khan! They played “Old School,” R. Kelley, new releases and almost every type of Slide current. The audience loved them.
At 9:30 p.m., the Program was started. The M.C for the evening was Mr. Frank Eggleton. Frank gave the greeting and introduced the “Skit of King Piye(Pie)” – Historical Facts. The skit was written and directed again this year by Krewe member, Former City Councilman, Ronald Townsend, Sr., retired. The skit is a comical presentation of the Life of King for this year by the Krewe. The audience laughed constantly at this very, very funny skit.
King Piye was Pharaoh of Egypt (752 – 721B.C.). Piye was the founder of the twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt. Piye was a great military ruler of Nubia and upper Egypt. He considered himself a God! Piye had four wives and had a pyramid built in his honor.
After the skit, the Kings were introduced to the audience, one at a time as they processed in.
Last year’s king Pharaoh Ptolemy XIII (Michael McVoy) came in to the cheers of the crowd.
Finally, this year’s King Piye(Michael Hicks,Sr.) came in masked. King Ptolemy then crowned our unmasked New King, Piye. Next, M.C. Eggleton, called for the “Selection of our New Ball Queen”. This was done by passing around slices of King Cake to all the women in the audience who had not been selected as Queen of the Ball, previously.
Mrs. Dorothy Poe found the “toy baby” in the circulated King Cake. As she came forward, Mrs. Poe was crowned as our new Ball Queen for 2014. The M.C. then called for a “Toast of the New Queen, Mrs. Poe and King Piye(Mike Hicks,Sr.). The Krewe, our new Royalty and the audience all raised their glasses in “toast of new King and Queen”.
The Grand Marche followed the toasting. The King and Queen traveled around the ballroom floor waving to the adoring crowd. The M.C. called for the Royal Entertainer.
Ms. Vivian Da Valt was our bellydance (Royal Entertainer). Ms. Da Valt was dressed in a pale blue, chiffon beautiful costume. She was very tantalizng. The audience cheered this performance.
The M.C. called for the Reading of the Royal Proclamation. Once done, the final event of the evening ocured. Led by King Piye and Queen Dorothy, the Krewe’s First Dance commenced.
As the Krewe members went to get their wives and dates, the Program came to an end.
The Krewe of African Kings is opened to all “Men of Like Minds,” our Krewe was started in 1991 by Krewe Captain, Martin D. Lewis (850) 433 – 4427.