Washington Mardi Gras…Mystick Krewe of Louisianians…King, Queen, Princesses galore, in elaborate gowns and finery, ornate headdresses and collars, be-jeweled (and/or rhinestone-encrusted) crowns and tiaras—such was the scene on January 29, 2022, as Winnfield’s own Princess for the 5 th Congressional District, Macy McFarland, enjoyed the privilege of being the first 5 th District Princess from Winnfield at the annual Mardi Gras celebration in Washington, D. C., since Nancy Riley Crain held that honor over 50 years ago.
Macy, a bright, energetic young lady, was the guest speaker at Winnfield Rotary Club’s meeting on March 2, 2022. She is the daughter of Jack and Shelley McFarland. Jack is the representative for Louisiana’s District 13, covering Bienville, Jackson, Winn and a small part of southwest Ouachita Parish, in the Louisiana House of Representatives, and Winnfield Rotary’s Rotarian of the Day.
Macy introduced herself to Rotarians as a 17-year-old senior at Winnfield Senior High School, who is a three-year letterman as a member of the Cheer Team. Academically, she ranks third in her class, and is a member of Beta Club, FFA, and STS, as well as the National Honor Society. Macy plans to attend Nichols State University in Thibodaux after graduation and obtain her bachelor’s degree in nursing so that she can work as in the field of emergency medicine. She has aspirations of going on to become a Nurse Practitioner.
Washington Mardi Gras was what Macy describes as “a magical experience,” one she will always treasure and “would not trade for anything!” so it would be an understatement to say that she thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience. It was all thanks to Louisiana’s Fifth Congressional District Julia Letlow, who appointed Macy and two others from her district as princesses of the Krewe for the 2022 Mardi Gras season. Each of Louisiana’s six Congressional Representatives has the privilege of appointing three princesses from his or her district. The Representative who is the chairman of the event for that year may select seven princesses as members of the court of the Mystick Krewe of Louisianians. The purpose of the three-day event is to import Louisiana culture and the spirit of Mardi Gras to the nation’s capital.
Mardi Gras events were far from the only entertainments and enjoyable experiences of the three-day celebration of the Washington Mardi Gras Season for those Louisiana residents such as Macy who attended this year.
The first of many celebratory events for the participants was breakfast at the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion, meeting other princesses of the Washington Mardi Gras Krewe and various queens of Louisiana festivals, followed by a long flight from Baton Rouge to Washington with her parents. Macy and her co-princesses received charming gifts from the King, Queen and Chairman of the Mystick Krewe of Louisianians, the group which organizes the annual Washington Mardi Gras events each year. Chairman of the Krewe this year was Congressman Garret Graves of Louisiana’s Sixth Congressional District. An evening reception on Thursday concluded a very long day.
The whirlwind of activities over the three-day event included a tour of the United States Capitol Building and viewing of the two statues in the Capitol erected by and in honor of the state of Louisiana, lunch at the Kennedy Center, a tour going to the various monuments and memorials in D.C., such as the Viet Nam, Korean, and Lincoln Memorials, a visit to Arlington Cemetery for the changing of the guard and placement of a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier by the Mystick Krewe’s King Richard Lipsey of Baton Rouge and Queen Madison Smith of LaPlace. King Richard is owner of a firearms distributor, was co-owner of a company creating tailored men’s clothing, and founder of a chain of wireless phone stores. Queen Madison is a political science student in her senior year of study at LSU.
Macy was presented to the Krewe Friday evening at a formal event, together with all the rest of the Krewe Royalty. She was escorted in the procession by her father at the Chairman’s Ball, a formal seated dinner followed by dancing.
The highlight of Washington Mardi Gras events was, of course, the Mardi Gras Ball on Saturday, for which rehearsal began at 10:00 Saturday morning. The ball itself was described by Macy as a magical event. Her father escorted her all around the ballroom in the procession of royalty. The Washington Mardi Gras chairman, King and Queen, adorned with royal robes bearing long trains and ornate crowns and collars, processed around the huge ballroom, along with many other costumed participants, and beautifully gowned and crowned or tiaraed princesses and the Queens of the varied festivals around Louisiana. The Queen’s Breakfast, which offered the most delicious food of the entire three days, in Macy’s opinion, concluded the festivities.
According to the Mystick Krewe’s website, all expenses involved in putting on the events of the three-day celebration of Mardi Gras in Washington are funded through Krewe dues, ticket sales and private donations, and no government funds, either state or federal, are used.
After Macy answered all the audience’s questions, the meeting was adjourned with the Rotary motto, “Service above self!”