A royal evening: Annual event among oldest

Published 8:36 am Friday, April 22, 2016

One of Bogalusa’s oldest traditions will mark its 79th year Saturday, as Annunciation Catholic School hosts the annual “Children’s Coronation.”

Tickets are still available today at Annunciation Catholic School for $5. They will be $6 at the door Saturday. The event is Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Bogalusa High School auditorium.

Derik Thompson, the co-chairman of this year’s Children’s Coronation committee, said that the event is enjoyable for kids and parents alike.

“The kids get the chance to dress up and pretend to be royalty or someone else for the night,” he said. “We have some families who have had four generations that have participated.”

Thompson said the coronation began in 1935 and a group of ladies from the Episcopal church initially organized the event. It was designed as a “Mardi Gras ball” style ceremony where youngsters dressed up in elaborate spring costumes. Some of the early “royalty” in the invitation-only event included the Goodyear children and children of local politicians, Thompson said.

Thompson said that the event was not held for several years in the late 1980s, after the original organizers said they could not continue. Annunciation Catholic Church and School took over in 1991 and have continued the annual tradition since.

Thompson said the ceremony is open to any kindergartner, and there are even some participants from out of state. One child in this year’s event lives in Atlanta, Ga.

“It’s not an event just for Annunciation Catholic School,” he said. “It’s for the whole community. A lot of parents really go all out with the costumes and making it a fun occasion.”

This year’s theme is “Broadway, Here We Come,” and the participants will represent different famous musicals, Thompson said. He expects the coronation to be around 1.5 hours or a little longer.

Thompson said that the history of the event is very important, because it is one of the longest-running traditional shows in the parish. This year, Millie Ledoux Underwood is a special guest. Underwood was a participant in the original coronation in 1935, and was also a member of ACS’s inaugural eighth-grade class.

“It’s a highlight of the year for a lot of people in the community,” he said.