FIRST FESTIVAL, 1870
was held on Thursday evening, January 6th in that year, it was established in our city, and has since been observed with a royal magnificence worthy of its antiquity.
An immense throng greeted this first turnout, which appeared at about fifteen minutes to nine o'clock on Royal street. The design of the display was the congregation of the representatives from all the earth, to participate in all the festivities of Twelfth Night, prepared by the Lord of Misrule. Europe, Asia, Alrica and America were appropriately represented, and the procession was pronounced by all, one of the most elegant affairs ever seen on this continent. At the Opera House the following programme was handed around among the guests:
Opera House -
Ye Twelfth Night Revelers,
JANUARY 6, 1870,
Now, now the mirth comes,
With the cake full of plums,
Where Beane's the King of the sport here;
Besides we must know,
The Pea also
Must rule as Queen of the Court here.
Begin then to chuse,
This night as ye use,
Who shall for the present delight here;
Be a King by the lot,
And whom shall not
Be Twelfth-Day Queen for the night here.
Mirth aud Jollity, with their attendants, prepare the Twelfth Night Cake, and by their Heralds summon the Four Quarters of the Globe to the Festival -
Now the mystic rite beginning;
Here the social board prepare;
Crown and sceptre wait the winning;
Who shall prove the royal pair?
From the Historic Great of Nations
Let a King and Queen arise;
Try the venture, rank and station
Are for those who gain the prize.
TABLEAU AND PROCESSION
Now upon the Royal dais
See our King and Queen await,
Let each Lord and Chieftain pay his
Courtesie to the Crown and State.
Now, the solemn installation done.
Let the Heralds loud proclaim
Twelfth Night Revels are begun,
And joy and mirth are now to reign.
When the members of the organization had passed around the floor, they invited their lady friends down, and in a few moments the floor that had been dedicated to the revels of the mysterious hosts, was transformed into a ball room, where the "dance went merrily on." and "Twelfth Day" had lapsed into the "thirteenth" ere the happy scene had ended.
SECOND FESTIVAL, 1871
On the evening of the 6th of January, 1871, the second pageant of the Twelfth Night Revelers was given.
The entire central district of the city was one brilliant scene of life and gaiety. The whole population was in the streets, and, with the bright and balmy night, the gay throngs, and the flashing lights, the tout ensemble was one which belongs only to New Orleans among American cities. When it was found that the pageant was to represent the familiar characters whom Mother Goose has made immortal, the delight of the spectators can better be imagined than described, and as the costly, fantastic procession filed slowly by, each new tableau was greeted with shouts of enthusiastic recognition from the innumerable throng.
The pageant was headed by a grotesque and gorgeous figure with the title of the Lord of Misrule, who was followed in regular order by the characters who have been handed down to us in the old nursery rhymes of that mysterious poet Mother Goose.
At the Opera House, the tableaux elicited the warmest applause, from one of the most brilliant audiences ever gathered within its walls. The ball which wound up the entertainment was a joyous termination to an event which will ever be pleasantly remembered by all who were present.
THIRD FESTIVAL, 1872
The third Festival of these unknown Revelers was a splendid effort. With a more perfected organization, and with increased expenditure, they came to the front, determined to out-do their former efforts and realize the brilliant expectations which their many admirers had founded upon the former displays of their order.
They could scarcely have chosen a better theme than THE TIDE OF ENGLISH HUMOR.
In all the realm of literature there is no richer field than this; and our Revelers certainly pulled its very fairest flowers as they wandered. Headed by Don Quixote (a pardonable theft from other lands) the pageant showed Humor, Its Gods, Its Fathers, Its Fountain and Its Tide, in a splendid and harmonious sequence.
Shakespeare, rare Ben Johnson, Gay, Swift, Sterne, Goldsmith, Burns, Scott, Irving, Dickens and Bret Harte!
These were figures which followed in the Tide of Humor; each one set in a group of his own choicest creations, and clustered with them on their respective pedestals, rivaling in chiseled splendor the majestic sculptures of Praxiteles himself.
In all the appointments of artistic elegance this display was considered as being yet unequaled. It was a daring flight into the realm of art, this attempt at marbleizing Humor, but the Revelers assuredly achieved a brilliant success.
The closing ceremonies were, as on their first occasion, similar to those observed by the Mystick Krewe.
After the falling of the curtain on the closing tableau the usual ball commenced in which the fashionable company joined, finding no less delight therein by reason of their ignorance of their Hosts.