Mardi Gras season is taking me completely by surprise this year. I was still out shopping for pumpkins to carve while the Krewe of Bonaparte held its annual fall cocktail party at the Petroleum Club in October. This event is the Krewe's first party of the Mardi Gras season and also serves to introduce new members to Bonaparte and its peculiar rights and rituals. You know that these guys are serious about gettin' down when the band for the evening is Groovy 7, brought in just for the evening from New Orleans. Rumor has it that the coming year's royalty court was present, but true to style all lips were sealed.

If you thought that Bonaparte got into the action early, watch out for The Krewe of Xanadu! This krewe has been prepping for Carnival 2008 for many months, starting with a selection luncheon for their 2008 royalty court at Cafe Vermilionville way back in May. Xanadu continued its mystical blessing of king and queen Xanadu XVII with a pool party at Le Triomphe followed by a royalty tea at the home of Naomi Maraist in July. The announcement dinner for the royal couple at River Oaks back in August lived up to Xanadu's theme for the up coming Mardi Gras ball: "Xanadu Gone Wild"! Characters included "Wild Cat," "Wild Ride," "Wild Child," "Wild Turkey" and the ever popular "Wet N' Wild." After having experienced firsthand what a wild ride Xanadu provided for all partygoers, Party Girl can't wait for the upcoming festivities this year leading up to the Krewe's Mardi Gras ball on Feb. 1, 2008.

Speaking of festivities, I was thrilled to attend the Women Who Mean Business gathering co-sponsored by The Training Source and Lounge. A chic, dimly-lit evening at the Lounge made for a cool setting. The evening was meant to celebrate the Independent Weekly's 2006-2007 Women Who Mean Business honorees, as well as give them an opportunity to get to know one another. Lounge/Tsunami co-owner Michele Ezell, a 2006 honoree, simultaneously served as gracious hostess and enthusiastic celebrant.

From parties celebrating business women to canine-assisted marriage proposals ' Party Girl loves all of it. A couple of weeks ago, Allen Dugas proposed to his soon to be wife Katie Reagor with the help of Belle and Lady ' two happy and obedient pooches. Jacey and Jude Simon provided the perfect venue with their pet boutique Spoiled and felt honored by the request. Allen and Katie met 10 years ago in high school and started dating after sharing a turkey leg and lemonade at a Renaissance Festival! According to Katie, Allen couldn't have proposed in a more perfect way. So, all you guys out there: take notes.

On other trails, Frank Camalo and cycling partner Peggy Connick participated in this year's "Ride for the Roses" in Austin, Texas. The annual event through the hill country of the Texas capital is sponsored by Lance Armstrong and serves as a fundraiser for his cancer research foundation. From what I was told, Peggy pulled her partner up a few of them Texas hills.

Party On! ' PG

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