Mardi Gras runs through her veins
It was only fitting that Danielle Perugini, 21, grace our cover for this issue celebrating Mardi Gras.
Perugini, after all, is the niece of islander Dancie Perugini Ware, who in 1985, with George P. Mitchell and his wife, Cynthia, spearheaded the revival of Mardi Gras in Galveston as it’s known today. Because of that revival, the city regained old and beloved traditions lost during War World II and thousands of people descend on the city for Fat Tuesday celebrations each year.
Danielle Perugini is a junior at Texas Christian University, where she’s majoring in finance and accounting in the Neeley School of Business and is currently studying abroad. She has Mardi Gras Galveston in her veins. In 1936, her great-great uncle Thomas F. Shaw was crowned King Frivolous at the Knights of Momus Coronation Ball.
In 2002, her uncle James Ware was King Frivolous.
In these photos, Danielle Perugini, whose parents are Dan and Stephanie Perugini is wearing the same gown and shoes Dancie Perugini Ware wore in 1985 at a Mardi Gras masked ball at The Tremont House, a Mitchell property in the island’s downtown.
Arnold Scaasi, who created gowns for First Ladies Mamie Eisenhower, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush, designed the dress of black and gold metallic lace. Susan Bennis/Warren Edwards, a New York-based shoe company founded in 1972 by Susan Bennis and Warren Edwards, designed the shoes specially for the Mardi Gras Galveston event. Everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis has worn Susan Bennis/Warren Edwards shoes, loved for their unusual design.
Coast Monthly chose the 1838 Michel B. Menard House in Galveston for the cover shoot for its stately beauty and deep Mardi Gras history.
The home, owned by Galveston City Company founder Michel Menard, was the site of the first masquerade ball on the island, according to the Galveston Historical Foundation.
“On March 26, 1856, history was made as the first Mardi Gras ball in Galveston was held at the house,” according to the foundation. “The Galveston News reported the next day that over 300 guests attended. Many came in costumes, such as Pocahontas, Lady Washington, Queen of the Gypsies, Don Juan, French Musketeers and Cassanova, to name just a few. The paper also reported that the ‘party began early and lasted til late’ and that every single room in the house was overtaken by the revelers.”