The Spring Fiesta Cotillion Gala
A Night in Old New Orleans
One year after its organization, in 1938, The New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association began presenting young ladies to society in a royal court. The first Queen of the Spring Fiesta was Miss Rita Holland. She reined, joined by her ladies in waiting, Miss Lois Le Vasseur, Miss Joan Mooney, Miss Jane Lacourrege, Miss Ann Mae Keller, Miss Janet Brands, and Miss Mary Zimmermann. As the city came together to celebrate the first Spring Fiesta, Foley’s florist donated a wall of orchids, and Maison Blanche provided dresses for the Court.
By 1956, The Spring Fiesta Queen was joined by a full cotillon court, including Maids of Honor, Demoiselles, and Jewel Bearers. In this year, the Court was honored at a dinner in the International House, a special night at the Opera, and several other receptions during the Spring Fiesta.
Eventually, Promenade Girls were included in the festivities, serving as attendants to the court during its Promenade in Jackson Square.
In 2018, the Spring Fiesta Cotillion Court continued to grow with the transition of the Promenade Girls into the court proper and the addition of Gallants to accompany the Demoiselles and Promenade Girls. This served to recognize the young men of the New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association families for their volunteer service to the organization.
In 2023, a full King’s Court was added to embrace the entire family of our New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association members. The King’s Court consists of the Captain, Royal Guard, and King.
The New Orleans Spring Fiesta's first King, dubbed Roi I, is Casmier Joseph Blanda, Vieux Carré philanthropist, volunteer, and historian. Mr. Blanda, known as C.J., joined the organization in 1961. He has been a Board Member since 1965 and has held all of the organization’s offices and committee chair positions during his 60-year tenure.
The first Captain, Mr. Joseph DiFatta, known as Joey, sits on the executive board of The New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association as a Vice President. Mr. DiFatta is an executive and organizing member of many non-profit, philanthropic, civic, business, and social organizations.
The first Royal Guard, Mr. William John Borne Curran, known as Liam, is a junior member of the organization. Mr. Curran began his service to NOSFA at age 8, has volunteered at countless events, and currently serves as assistant to the club historian and technical assistant for publications and event sound systems. Mr. Curran also volunteers at Cascade Stables.
The Queen and her Court, Maids, Demoiselles, Promenade Girls, Gallants, and Jewel Bearers are chosen for individual and family volunteer service to the organization and community and dedication to the New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association.
The King and his attendants, Captain and Royal Guards, are chosen for their volunteer service to the organization and community and dedication to the New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association.
Une Grande Affaire
The New Orleans Spring Fiesta Cotillion Gala is a magical evening when young ladies are presented at court, and young gentlemen take their places alongside them. The Queen, an accomplished young lady, and the King, a gentleman whose commitment to service is well established, reine over their court and subjects at a grande ball.
The Cotillion begins with guests arriving for cocktails, dressed in black tie attire, to the elegant Josephine Bonaparte Salon in the Omni Royal Orleans hotel. Soon thereafter, the ball commences, and guests enjoy a traditional Cotillion as it has been conducted for generations. The presentation of the 88th Spring Fiesta Court in the Grand Salon is followed by dinner and dancing; everything coalesces creating une Soirée Magnifique.
The New Orleans Spring Fiesta Cotillion Gala, 2024
The New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association is delighted to announce its return to the historic Royal Orleans Hotel for the 88th presentation of