Mardi Gras on Magnolia!

Hostess Kim Trent opened her home and transported a bevy of bon vivants to Mobile — or New Orleans — not sure!

Kim Trent is an expert on Mardi Gras. She is from Mobile, where the first Mardi Gras was held. So, it was with great enthusiasm that I signed up to attend a Mardi Gras-themed Elegant Dining fundraiser for the Knoxville Symphony League to be held at her historic house in East Knoxville.

The Baumann and Baumann-designed home was built in 1926 by A.H. Whisman, whose firm went on to become today’s Johnson and Galyon Construction. It is located on Magnolia Avenue in the historic Park City neighborhood. In fact, the house has a name: “The Magnolia.”

As you will see, Kim enlisted some friends to co-host the event, several of whom are from New Orleans and know a thing or two about Mardi Gras, themselves!

The sold-out luncheon event was over the top in terms of food, drinks, music and decoration. Come along to the party and let the good times roll!

As most people know, Knoxville Police Chief Paul Noel is from New Orleans. He and his wife, Rachel, center, were among the hosts. In fact, she made the fabulous jambalaya! That’s Sandra Butler on the left.

A sign of good times ahead. Host Martha Kern greeted guests with Cajun deviled eggs.

Host Robin Smith offered spiced up sausage balls.

Hosts Laura and Kenny Chimeno own Fat Tuesday on Gay Street. They are from New Orleans and are Mardi Gras experts.

A welcome from host Cathy Briscoe, left, and Kim Cunningham, a co-chair of all the Elegant Dining events.

From left, Kim Cunningham, Kim Trent, Debbie Llewellyn and Bretynn Race.

From left, Jon Agazzi, Sheena McCall and Fred and Gina Buffum.

Moxley Carmichael’s Shaun Fulco, here with Chief Noel, is from New Orleans, too.

Judy Doyle, left, and Nancy Donsbach.

Larry Bushkell and Nan Scott.

Johnnie Creel, left, and Susan French.

Jane Venable, a co-chair of the Elegant Dining Committee, in front of the Mardi Gras tree!

Cindy Nelson and Steve Hawkins.

From left, Chief Paul Noel, Anita Seals and Elizabeth Offringa.

The tables were festive.

On the bountiful buffet, sweet potato bacon biscuits, top; spiced up sausage balls and those Cajun deviled eggs. Yum.

And, jambalaya, left, cheese grits casserole, top, and crawfish boil frittata.

King Cake for dessert, natch.

Larry and Jenny Bushkell at the buffet table. Great hat.

My fun table. From left, Dawn Ford, host Cathy Briscoe and Phyllis Nichols.

Jane Venable also was at our table. And she found the baby in her slice of King Cake! Means good luck!

At the next table, Susan French also found a baby in her cake! (There were two King Cakes.)

Mike Beckley provided theme-appropriate tunes.

Note the shoe on the piano in the photo above. Decorated shoes were everywhere at this party. Rachel Noel said they are from the Mardi Gras float of the Krewe of Muses, the first all-female krewe. Apparently, they throw shoes!

Some of the hosts, from left, Robin Smith, Debbie Emery, Martha Kern and Anne White.

More hosts, from left, Rachel Noel, Kim Trent, Shaun Fulco, Kenny and Laura Chimeno. In rear, pianist Mike Beckley.

These folks decorated everything! Even the bathroom plungers!

The Magnolia.

It has its own little sign.

Such a fun time. Now that’s what I call day-drinking for a good cause!


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6 Responses to Mardi Gras on Magnolia!

  1. Shaun Fulco, on February 21st, 2023 at 3:11 pm said:

    It was so much fun hosting this event. I have to say Rachel’s jambalaya was one of the best I’ve ever had. Can’t wait to do it again next year! A parade in the streets? Maybe. Stay tuned.

  2. Dorothy Stair, on February 21st, 2023 at 5:23 pm said:

    Kim knows how to have a great party. Looks like so much fun. Love knowing that the chief of police is married to a chef from New Orleans. Really Cool.

  3. Harriet Hodge, on February 21st, 2023 at 5:45 pm said:

    Looks “over the top”.for sure. I heard rave reviews. Thanks for spotlighting this fun event Cynthia.

  4. Georgiana Fry Vines, on February 21st, 2023 at 6:05 pm said:

    I need to sign up for next year. Really would like to try Rachel’s jambalaya.

  5. Cynthia Moxley, on February 24th, 2023 at 11:19 pm said:

    Shaun: Thanks for hosting! Can’t think of anyone more qualified!

    Dorothy: Agree on all points!

    Harriet: It was certainly over the top! You should come if they do it next year!

    George: Would love to be with you there! Rachel’s jambalaya alone is worth the price of admission!

  6. Katie Allison, on March 15th, 2023 at 7:50 pm said:

    I definitely want to come next year! Love Kim!

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