KREWE OF HYACINTHIANS
HISTORY OF THE LADIES CARNIVAL CLUB
Several ladies, who watched the parade together on Mardi Gras day in Houma in 1951, decided to see if they could organize a carnival club for ladies. Relatives, friends and friends of friends were contracted and a meeting was held on February 12, 1951 at the Mayfair Club on Main Street in Houma with approximately 65 ladies attending. Several members of the Greater Houma Carnival Club (one of the two local organizations for men) attended this meeting. Among them were Frank King, Merkle Kornegay, Vic Maurin, Vincent Lopresto and Dr. Arthur Anisman. They answered questions, gave suggestions and offered help in any way needed.
The purpose of the Club was to have fun, promote the Carnival spirit and afford the opportunity for any member, married or single, to be queen. An election was held for officers and board of directors. Dues were set at $30.00 per year. The name “Hyacinth” was chosen, the queen to be “Queen Hyacinth” and the Krewe to be “Krewe of Hyacinthians”.
The first parade was held on Thursday, February 21, 1952, at 7:00 p.m. with seven floats rented from the Greater Houma Carnival Club and seven torch bearers hired from the Zulu Carnival Club of Houma. The Tableau and Ball held at the American Legion Hall followed the parade. The identity of the Queen and King, Gardeline Sharp and Conrad Lirette, was revealed at parade time.
On February 3, 1953, Mrs. C. Grenes Cole donated a piece of property in Barrow Subdivision so the Club could build a den. The den was eventually built and a dedication was held on November 10, 1960 and named the “Loretta Guidry Den”, in memory of Club member Loretta Guidry.
In 1954, with eleven floats rented from the Greater Houma Carnival Club, the parade was changed to a day parade and rolled on Sunday, February 21 at 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon.
In 1955 the parade was changed again, to Saturday, February 12th at 11:00 a.m. in the morning with the Tableau and Ball that night at Lamar Auditorium on Bayou Black Drive.
In 1956, after renting floats from 1952 through 1955, the Club owned their own floats. Some of the chassis were given to the Club and some were purchased. Many of the husbands and friends helped to build the floats and they were decorated by the members. The Queen’s float had a special committee to design and decorate it. The Club now owns all its floats that are all professionally decorated.
In 1957 the parade route was changed. Instead of starting on East Main Street and Grand Caillou Road it started on Suthon Avenue on Sunday, February 24th at 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon and disbanded at the American Legion playground. The Tableau and Ball were that night at the new Houma Municipal Auditorium.
When more and larger floats were needed, the original den became too small. Two lots were purchased by the Club on Capital Drive in the fall of 1991. Ground breaking ceremonies were held on November 23, 1991.
From 1957 through 1999 the Tableau and Ball were held on Saturday night at the Houma Municipal Auditorium, but since the year 2000, the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center is now used. The Parade day remains on Sunday afternoon with the King and Queen’s Reception after the parade.
It is only through the foresight of the founding members, the hard work and dedication of the ladies throughout the years that we, the Krewe of Hyacinthians, are able to continue the Ladies Carnival Club, Inc. Now with a membership of more than 360 members, we look forward to celebrating Mardi Gras each year with the people of our community.