Vol 60, No 5 (1999)


Cover Page

Mardi Gras has been commemorated in Louisiana at least since 1699. In the 1850s the celebration fell into disrepute, but on Febrnary 24, 1857, the Mistick Krewe of Comus (a New Orleans carnival organization) staged its first street parade giving rise to the New Orleans carnival as we know it today.

During the last quarter of the 19th century, carnival organizations vied with each other to produce colorful, elaborately illustrated invi­tations to their balls. The invitation shown on the cover reflects Camus's theme in 1902, "The Fairy Kingdom." It depicts Fairyland denizen Drakestail, on the ground, bowing to Fire-son and Snow-daughter. Recipients of invitations such as this one often saved them as memen­toes, and many have found their way into li­brary collections. Tilis example comes from the Judge John Minor Wisdom Collection at the Earl K. Long Library at the University of New Orleans.