Long before the masked balls, parades, balcony parties and the bead-tossing, islanders get into a Mardi Gras state of mind. A lot of locals string bright lights — green, gold and purple, of course — on their porches or trees. And they hang out festive decorations, adding to an excitement and anticipation not unlike the Christmas season.
For locals and more and more Houstonians, there’s no need to cross the state line into Louisiana for Mardi Gras celebrations. Galveston’s Mardi Gras has grown exponentially since 1985, when island-born oilman, developer and preservationist George Mitchell resurrected the city’s festivities. Recent Mardi Gras celebrations have attracted an estimated 250,000 people a year to the seaport city.
For some, all the planning and preparation is a year-round affair, as we learn in reporter Erin Heffernan’s article on the key krewes that help make all the revelry happen. You have to admire the dedication of people who throw parties to get ready for their parties, as Heffernan reports.
In this issue, everyone got into the Mardi Gras spirit, including actress Liana Liberato, who donned a beautiful ballgown for a photo shoot and interview at the island’s historic Trube Castle. Liberato, a rising star in Hollywood, has worked with such celebrities as Clive Owens and Nicole Kidman, to name a few. Despite the critical acclaim her work has garnered and her promising future, Liberato is down to earth and has never forgotten her hometown of Galveston, where she got her acting start.
We’ll have these stories and much more.
Happy Mardi Gras!
Several key people deserve special thanks for helping this issue’s cover shoot come together.
• First, thanks to Kelly Hayley, of Kemah Trading Co., for allowing the Coast Monthly crew into the beautiful Trube Castle, 1627 Sealy St. on the island.
John Clement Trube and his wife, Veronica Durst Trube, commissioned Trube Castle in 1890. Architect Alfred Muller designed what is one of the most photographed historic buildings in Texas, and a symbol of Galveston’s affluence and energy in that era.
The 7,000-square-foot, 21-room mansion replicated castles from John Clement Trube’s memories as a boy in Kiel, Denmark. It was completed in a little more than three months by contractor J.W. Pope, at the cost of $9,700.
Today, the property is available for weddings and other events. Visit www.trubecastlegalveston.com for more information.
• We also thank Hailey Kleiderer, of Dancie Perugini Ware Public Relations, for so much help on this issue, including securing the perfect gown for the cover photograph. Shelby Schulz, daughter of islanders Stephen and Gretchen Schulz, graciously loaned the gown to Coast Monthly. Shelby Schulz was Queen of the Knights of Momus in 2012. The gown was designed by Miwa Sakashita.
A native of Japan, Sakashita has operated her Galleria-area studio, Miwa Fashions, for more than 20 years. One of her latest projects was designing 21 coronation evening gowns for the duchesses of the Knights of Momus. Sakashita also is a popular designer for Galveston and Houston trendsetters, specializing in wedding gowns, ballgowns and casual attire.