68th NRF king unveiled at Beaumont Country Club

68th NRF king unveiled at Beaumont Country Club

All hail the king … Tuesday afternoon, March 29, the 68th Neches River Festival king and his escorts traveled down the Neches River and docked at the Beaumont Country Club. The 2016 princesses, escorts, NRF royalty, family and friends were thrilled as Amy Lovoi, 2016 social chairman, unmasked Joe Tortorice as this year’s ruler and king of the Neches River Festival. Congrats! Along with several Knights of the Neches events this week, the king and his court will participate in the NRF Parade that starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 2, at Munro’s Dry Cleaning on MLK Jr. Parkway and winds its way downtown, ending at Riverfront Park.

Hippity hop … The Heritage Society hosted an egg hunt at the John Jay French Museum with Bernard Bunny greeting the eager children who were thrilled with the hunt. In the mix were Christina Crawford, Lindsay and Baylor Wortham and their children, Baylor II and Elizabeth, Haley Strahan and daughters, Brandon East with his daughter Caroline, Cash and Lauren Williams and their children, Christina Crawford, Janci Kimball and daughter Remi, Beth Rogers and daughter Abigail, Lauren Martin and family, and Ty and Lauren Hallmark with son Scout.

A celebration of style … Lamar University will host the Friends of the Arts Le Grand Bal, a gala evening of art, fine dining, dancing and entertainment, on Saturday, April 2. This year’s theme, “Lamar Deco,” celebrates the glamour and luxury of the Jazz Age. This year’s event is chaired by a number of previous Bal chairs and dedicated Friends of the Art members like Sandra Clark, Sandy and Joseph Fertitta, yours truly, and Michele and Mitch Smith. Serving as food chairs are Kim and Roy Steinhagen and Elizabeth and John Miller, program chairs are Regina Rogers and Golden Wright, publicity chair Sharon Foret and reservations chair Tammy Hebert. The underwriting committee includes Pat Avery, Amy and Paul Chargois, Rusty Chimeno, Sherrene Cook, Mindy and Jay Eisen, Pat Klein, W.L. Pate, Dean Terrebone, and Paige and Morris Windham. Activities at the black-tie event include a reception and silent auction chaired by Mandie and Garrett Peel at the Dishman Art Museum, as well as a gourmet buffet, libations, music and dancing at the Montagne Center, whose transformation into a Art Deco style nightclub will be orchestrated by atmosphere chairs Melissa Edwards and Lynda Moncla. Now in its 41st year, Le Grand Bal is the major annual fundraiser of the College of Fine Arts and Communication. This year’s honorees will be Marsha and Lewis Hoffer for their leadership in promoting the arts at LU and throughout Southeast Texas. Guests will arrive at the Dishman Art Musuem for a reception and silent auction from 6-8 p.m. Participants will have the opportunity to bid on more than 200 pieces of original artwork by alumni, faculty, students and special friends of LU — a diverse range of original paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, ceramics and jewelry. Entertainment at the Montagne Center from 7 p.m. to midnight will be provided by two high-energy bands, Beaumont based Champagne Room, and The Newsboyz from Austin. Tickets are still available for $150 per person, with underwriting opportunities ranging from $750 to $10,000. For info, all (409) 880-8137. See you there!

Funtastic comedy … The hilarious Neil Simon comedy “The Odd Couple” will open at the Betty Greenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, April 1. This funny portrayal of two suddenly single pals — a sloppy sportswriter and a fastidious news writer — who strain their friendship by becoming roommates is directed by Bert Smith. The Beaumont Community Players performances will also run April 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16.

Storkmarketing … An Easter blessing was welcomed into the Parsons family on Saturday with the arrival of Ayna and John Pat Parsons’ newborn son, John Pat Parsons III, bowing in at 7 pounds, 1 ounce. Grandparents Melody and Pat Parsons are over the moon with happiness for this first grandchild. Congratulations!

Candles and cakes … Birthday wishes to Margaret Green, Payton Ploch, Maggie Weir, Floyd McSpadden, Ed Childress, Marianne Laine, Logan Franklin, Brittany Pippin, Mary Colley, Cheryl Williams, Jennifer Doornbos, Debbie Headrick, Jessica Holloway, Christy Simon, Ramona Young, Roberta Bullington, Carlo Busceme III, Todd Senters and Kathryn Phelan.

Until the next RSVP!