Self-described as a "short, family-friendly parade — quirky, whimsical and spiritual," Joan of Arc's royalty for 2020 exemplify those qualities. Catch their coronation in FQJ's photo essay.
- by Ellis Anderson
This relative newcomer to the Mardi Gras scene, Krewe Joan of Arc was founded in 2008. They're one of the only organizations to parade through the French Quarter and kick off the entire carnival season of parades each year on twelfth night, January 6th.
For the coronation of the 2020 royalty, the krewe gathered at Patrick's Bar Vin and moved into the courtyard of Hotel Mazarin on Bienville Street in the Quarter on Tuesday evening, December 10.
After an hour or so of visiting and enjoying libations and food from an ample hors d'oeuvres buffet, krewe members broke off conversation and gathered close as the captains called for attention. Past royals in attendance were recognized first and honored with medallions. Then began the introduction of the 2020 king, queen, and Jeanne herself.
Simon Hardeveld, a French-born artist who is known simply as "Simon," was called forward to accept his royal robes and crown as he portrays King Charles VII. Simon is known for his "deja vu art" sold from his Magazine Street shop. The krewe bestowed this honor on the artist in part because his art "has come to represent the resiliency and individualism of the city."
Taking on the role of Queen Yolanda of Aragon, Joan's benefactor, is Margarita Bergen. The former gallery owner, socialite and currently social editor for the French Quarter Journal is an "influential patron of the arts and cultural advocate," as well as founder of the Round Table Luncheons, which for the past 14 years has "brought together the various cultural communities of the city together around the champagne and cocktails that flow freely at every event."
Zoe Kanga, a senior at Lusher Charter School, is the crew's 2020 Maid of Honor, assuming the role of Joan of Arc. A resident of Algiers Point, she's participated in many clubs, including the leadership program of the Anti-defamation League, putting those skills to use by leading anti-bias training at her school. Proficient at ballet, Zoe also possesses advanced French language skills and delivered her acceptance speech in both French and English.
A champagne toast by all present welcomed the new royalty to their roles for the parade and at events in the coming year.
Ellis Anderson first came to the French Quarter in 1978 to pursue dreams of becoming a musician and writer. Eventually, she also became a silversmith and represented local artists as owner of Quarter Moon Gallery, with locations in the Quarter and Bay St. Louis, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Her book about the Bay's Katrina experience, "Under Surge, Under Siege," was published by University Press of Mississippi and won the Eudora Welty Book Prize in 2010. The French Quarter Journal joins The Shoofly Magazine, Bay St. Louis Living, as a sister digital publication of Ellis Anderson Media, LLC.