Sydney Bertrand, Sydney Richardelle and Cassie Aloisio
Vermilion Parish queens attend D.C. Mardi Gras Ball
By: Darryl Richardelle
Three festival queens representing Vermilion Parish and the surrounding areas recently attended the Mystick Krewe of Louisianians Mardi Gras Ball in Washington D.C.
Sydney Bertrand of Kaplan, Sydney Richardelle of Erath, and Cassie Aloisio of Morgan City represented their respective festivals at the 71st annual event held in the nation’s capital.
Sydney Paige Bertrand is the 68th Delcambre Shrimp Festival Queen. She is the 17-year-old daughter of Patches Bell and Darryl Bertrand of Kaplan. Sydney is currently a senior at Kaplan High School where she is a cheerleader and was a member of the 2018 homecoming court. After graduation, Sydney plans on attending Nicholls State University in Thibodaux to major in biology. A fun fact concerning Syd’s title is that she is the youngest Delcambre Shrimp Queen on record. She surpassed the minimum age requirement for contestants by only two days.
Sydney Marie Kay Richardelle is the 60th Louisiana Fur and Wildlife Festival Queen. She is the 23-year-old daughter of Darryl and Lisa Richardelle of Erath. Sydney is a 2014 graduate of Erath High School and a 2018 graduate of Nicholls State University. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in higher education administration at Nicholls. She is employed as an area coordinator in the dormitory system at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.
Cassie Kay Aloisio is the 70th Louisiana Cattle Festival Queen. She is the 19-year-old daughter of Amico and Anna Aloisio of Morgan City. A 2017 graduate of Morgan City High School, she is currently a sophomore at LSU in Baton Rouge majoring in Pre-Med. Upon graduation, she plans to attend medical school at Texas A&M.
The four day event entitled “Louisiana: A High Note” was held at the Washington Hilton. After a royal breakfast at the governor’s mansion and a quick, charter flight to D.C., the girls enjoyed a steak dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.
Louisiana’s best foods provided by vendors from around the state were the main attraction on the second night. This was a tasty mixer which allowed the queens and their guests to sample foods from the state’s various festivals. It also gave the girls an opportunity to meet many dignitaries from around Louisiana and Washington D. C.
Twenty-three festival queens and thirty-seven krewe princesses were introduced at a formal dinner on the third night. The main event occurred on the final evening. All festival queens were presented in full, formal regalia. They paraded around the ball room wearing crowns, banners, trains, and mantles. The Krewe of Louisianians then put on its mini-Mardi Gras parade. Krewe members rode mini-floats and walked through the ballroom while showering their guests with beads, stuffed animals, and keepsakes.
A traditional call-out dance was held for specially selected guests of members. This year’s King and Queen were Ray Brandt of New Orleans and Alexandra Reese Pharr of Lafayette.
Dignitaries in attendance included Governor John Bel Edwards, Senators Dr. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, and Congressman Clay Higgins.
Along with the Mardi Gras festivities, the queens and their guests enjoyed many sightseeing opportunities. Queens were given a private tour of the capitol building where they were able to meet their state senators and district representatives. Festival royalty were also given a snowy tour of Arlington National Cemetery where they laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They were also able to visit the National Archives where they saw the original Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution. Other historic destinations included Ford’s Theater (site of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination), the World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and Washington Monument.
Bertrand, Richardelle, and Aloisio will next represent their festivals at the Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festivals (LAFF) Queen’s Pageant and Convention to be held February 21 – 23 in Baton Rouge.