The History of Mona Lisa & Moon Pie
The raucous Krewe of Mona Lisa and MoonPie was founded in 1984 by two artists and their husbands, while bemoaning the fact that they had to drive to The Big Easy in order to participate in a marching arts parade. They decided to start their own krewe, and hoped to keep the organization relatively small. Slidell natives, Charlotte Lowry Collins and Pat Hart, along with their then husbands, helped create, organize, and implement the event. Initially, the parade was sponsored by the Slidell Regional Arts Council, with the intent of honoring the arts and good humor. In recent years, they are supported by Olde Towne Slidell Association and Olde Towne Merchants Association.
The mission evolved when Charlotte's current husband, Tom Collins, and then local media artist, Sharon Sharpe Edwards, began helping the organization in 2008. That mission is still used today: "to promote the arts, Olde Towne Slidell, and good humor". The signature ingredients for this parade are still creative hand-made costumes, unique hand decorated push or pull carts full of MoonPies, flaming flambeaux, and traditional marching brass bands. Each sub-krewe within the krewe picks their own fanciful theme or title to correspond with the main theme of the parade, which changes every year. This original marching parade focuses on artists, art supporters, Olde Towne supporters, and their friends and families marching through the street of Olde Town Slidell at dark. Their signature throws are MoonPies bought by the Krewes from Chattanooga Bakery; over fifty thousand moon pies fly into the crowds of loyal fans lining the street.
Their Red Beans and Rice Ball is a tomfoolery party with bands, the installation of royals, and traditional southern food and drink. Throughout most of the decades, local chef, Kevin Young and his wife Linda, have donated the main course from KY's Bicycle and Sandwich Shop.
Each year, the Krewe of Mona Lisa and Moon Pie chooses a different theme and royals, particularly Kings and Queens.
The following is a list of those lucky people (please help us identify missing information):
1985Royalty: John Perkins and Lydia Busch
Theme: "Signs of Progress"
1986Royalty: Phil Galatas and Susan McKeon
Theme: "Extinction-A Way of Life"
1987Royalty: George Dunbar and Cassandra Seefield
Theme: "Along the isms Trail"
Royalty: Ronnie Kole and Connie Davis
Theme: "Another Road-Side Attraction - 100 years in the Making"
1989Royalty: (Missing Names)
Theme: "Slidell, the Chameleon City"
1990Royalty: Kevin Curley and Joli Bonch Curley
Theme: "Voyage Beyond the Twin Span"
1991Royalty: Miss Guided Mary Jo Magnusen and Mr. Rejected Kirk Magnusen
(the year the role of king and queen were reversed)
Theme: "Louisiana - A State of Confusion"
1992Royalty: Naif Shahady and Sandy Shahady
Theme: "Between a Rock and a Hard Place"
1993Royalty: (Missing Names)
Theme: "In Your Dreams"
1994Royalty: John Dranchak and Terry Dranchak
Theme: "A Decade of Decadence" (10 Year Anniversary of this parade)
1995Royalty: Joel Ball and Becky Ball
Theme: "Outta Control"
1996Royalty: Mary DuBussion and Eric DuBussion
Theme: "Been There, Done That"
1997Cancelled - However a theme and royalty were chosen...
Royalty: Tim Matey and daughter Melissa Matey
Theme: "Dontcha Hate It When That Happens"
Royalty: Kevin Curley and Patricia Hart
Theme: "Hearts For Art Sake-Hoodoo You Love"
1999Royalty: Sam Caruso and Maria Muth
Theme: "French Twisted"
2000Royalty: Two Kings where chosen this year no Queen Tommy Boehm and Tim Matey as (Y2K)
Theme: "The New MONA-illennium"
2002Royalty: Frank Davis and Gilda Perkins
Theme: "DeJaVu All Over Again"
2003Royalty: Ronnie Kole and Gardner S. Kole
Theme: "Mona Lisa Goes to Carnival Around the World"
2004Royalty: Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Rebirth Brass Band and Gennifer Flowers Nine Kings where chosen
Theme: (Rebirth Bass Band was the first band to play for MLMP) 20th Anniversary of this parade
2006Royalty: Traves Mackel and (Missing name)
Theme: "Moon Pie Goes to the Movies"
1st poster introduced!
2007Royalty: Eric Paulsen and Sally Ann Roberts
Theme: "Mona Lisa Goes to Hollywood"
2008Royalty: Jester "Bernie" Cyrus and Lucy Bustamante
Theme: "To Dream the Impossible Dream"
2009Royalty: Ben Morris and Suzanne Parsons Stymiest
Theme: "Mona's Train of Thought"
2010Royalty: Greg Barnhill and Debbie Lefort
Theme: "Mona Makes Music"
2011Royalty: Terry Maddox and Charlotte Collins
Theme: "Mona's Book Club"
2012Royalty: Pat and Steve Bacharach, Christopher Case, Kirk Dunbar, Linda Franzo, Allen and Kathy Little, Fayez Mustafa, Deanna Reine, Kay Sabadie, Natasha Woods
Theme: "Mona's Food for Thought"
Baker's dozen royals invited
2013Royalty: Larry Montelongo and Rosemary Clements and Lee Ducote
Theme: "Dance, Mona, Dance"
2014Royalty: Kevin Folse and Kim Bergeron
2015Royalty: Joshua Brewer and Melanie St. Cyr
Theme: "Mona Does Hollywood South"
2016Royalty: Andy Breaux and Missy Spinosa
Theme: "Battle of the Bands"
2017Royalty: Frank Jackson and Beth DiMarco Pichon
Theme: "Mona Plays Games"
2018Royalty: Danny Blackburn and Suzie Hunt
Theme: "Mona Fests up"
(Parade moved to night before St. Patrick's Day)
2019Royalty: Kevin Young and Kendra Maness
Theme: "MoonPie Renaissance"
(Parade rebirthed as Saturday before Halloween)
2020Royalty: Matt Litchliter and Sarah Bonnette
Theme: "Mona Envisions the 2020's"
Cap'n Tom requests any information to help complete this MoonPie history...
404-401-9966 or firstname.lastname@example.org