The Knights of Momus is the grandest and oldest Krewe supporting the social and civic efforts of Galveston’s historic Mardi Gras, the traditional carnival of feasting and merrymaking that precedes the solemn season of Lent. In 1867, just two years after the War Between the States, the citizen’s of Galveston proclaimed the Island’s first Mardi Gras celebration. It was the first for Texas as well.
Shortly thereafter in 1871, a group of Galveston’s most distinguished citizens formed the Knights of Momus. Frivolity and unpretentious and exuberant fun marked these early celebrations, with elaborate invitations, torch-lit night parades, royal balls, and stunning costumes. A different theme was chosen each year, and everyone involved – from revelers to restaurants, saloons, and gambling halls – followed that theme.
From the onset, this legendary festival grew until its spirit embraced all of the Southwest. Parades and balls became more elaborate, attracting visitors from across the South. Young ladies “of family” from all over the state vied to become duchesses, and the event was reported in the society pages of The New York Times. Elaborate coronations, exclusive masked balls and large public celebrations were the order of the day.
During World War Two, Galveston’s Mardi Gras celebrations ceased. After the war, attempts to restore Mardi Gras were not very successful. However, the spirit of Mardi Gras was kept alive by organizations such as Treasure Ball and the Galveston Artillery club which continued to celebrate the event with private coronations.
In 1982 efforts began to revive the event with a public street dance on the Strand. In 1983 and 1984 events increased in size and scope and in 1984 King Frivolous and queen were again chosen.
Having observed rekindled interest, George P. Mitchell, in 1984, suggested restarting the island’s oldest Mardi Gras Krewe and committed substantial resources and personal energy and effort.
In 1985, Kenneth R. Shelton Jr., E.Douglas McLeod, James L. Ware, Michael C. Doherty, Vincent J. Tramonte, William S. Cherry, and John H. Spencer formally incorporated the Knights of Momus.
Working with Mr. Mitchell, and the newly formed Knight of Momus, Dancie Ware turned the Momus Grand Night Parade into a spectacular event and choreographed a week of festivities to celebrate Mardi Gras.
In 1986, largely at the insistence of John Spencer, who arranged for Queen Elizabeth II’s dress maker to create gowns for the Momus Duchesses, the Knights of Momus again held and elaborate coronation ball at Galveston’s 1894 Grand Opera House. Since that time Joan McLeod has recruited and overseen scores of young ladies, all the daughters of Momus members, who have been presented at the Ball.
Mardi Gras, Galveston with all its frivolity and glitter has captured the imagination and moved the spirit of the city. Today many Krewes have joined Momus and the event is made possible by the efforts of thousands of volunteers. Young and old, visitor and native, all share in camaraderie and fun, and, for a little while, at least, the cares of the world dissolve into a magical time in a magic city.
Once again Momus proclaims Mardi Gras
DOM VIVIMUS VIVAMUS
2017 Momus celebrated “Pirates of the Caribean” with Lawrence Estes crowned King Frivolous CII & Lauren Anne Balentine crowned his Queen. Robert Kline served as our President.
2016 Momus celebrated “Super Hero’s Unleashed” with Thomas Braden Daly crowned King Frivolous CI and Jorden Shaye Raschke crowned his Queen. Scott Kusnerik served as our President.
Momus salutes “KNIGHTS IN OLD SHANGHAI”in 2015 with William C. Ansell being crowned King Frivolous C and Alexandra Brown as his Queen. Anthony P. Brown was President.
“POP” was celebrated in 2014. Pop Art, Pop Culture and Pop Music! Larry Gillaspia was crowned King Frivolous XCIX and Kimberly McLeod Matthews was Queen.The President was Steven E. Conner.
Momus salutes “THE JAZZ AGE” in 2013. King Frivolous XCVIII was Thomas J. Perich and the Queen was Megan Elizabeth O’Malley. Lawrence C. Estes, Jr. was President.
Pink flamingos arrived as Momus proclaims “A SOUTH BEACH HOLIDAY” in 2012. John J. Listowski was crowned King Frivolous XCVII and Shelby Schulz was Queen. President was John Koza.
In 2011 Momus ushered in the "ARABIAN KNIGHTS" featuring the magic of the legends of the Near East. Tilman J. Fertitta was King Frivolous XCVI and the Queen was Dorothy Claire Henderson. James E. McLean was President.
We cruised along in 2010 as Momus celebrated the "TREASURESOF THE SEA". King Frivolous XCV was Steven C. Salch. Havard Sarah Lambert was Queen. B. Kelley Parker was President.
In 2009 Momus proclaims a "RIVIERA HOLIDAY" with the glamour and excitement of Monte Carlo… Ed Eubanks was King Frivolous XCIV and Kelli Fertitta was the Queen. Frank Dominguez, III was President.
In 2008 Momus took off to "SAIL THE SOUTH PACIFIC" and enjoys beautiful sunsets and tropical beaches. King Frivolous XCIII was David O’Donohoe and Madeline Shelton was Queen. Larry Gillaspia was President.
In 2007 we toasted "THEANIMAL KINGDOM" from the cloud forest of Peru to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. The Okavango, Kalahari and Serengeti of Africa. Fred C. Burns was King Frivolous XCII. The Queen was Jennifer Leigh Worsham. Thomas B. Daly was President.
In 2006 it was the food, drink and music of "VIVA ITALIA! " That Momus celebrated. V. J. Tramonte was King Frivolous XCI. Lauren Frances Gillaspia was the Queen. Christopher Bertini was President.
The swing era became "USA: RED, WHITE AND BLUE" in 2005. King Frivolous XC was Lee B. Ansell. The Queen was Kathryn Anne Kimbrough. The President was Thomas J. Perich.
And who could forget "ROCK N’ ROLLl" and blue suede shoes in 2004. Michael C. Doherty was King Frivolous LXXXIX. Jean Clare Daly was the Queen. Steven C. Salch was President.
"TROPICAL AND INTERNATIONAL" was the theme in 2003, Rainforests of the World. James B. Earthman was King Frivolous LXXXVIII. Keath Ellen Lewis was the Queen. Armin Cantini was President.
In 2002 it was a " SALUTE TO THE BRITISH ISLES", England, Ireland and Scotland. King Frivolous LXXXVII was James L. Ware. The Queen was Joan Douglas McLeod Bowman. The President was David E. O’Donohoe.
Momus went intergalactic with "SPACE AND BEYOND" in 2001. William H. Felts Jr. was King Frivolous LXXXVI. Suzanne John Hesley was the Queen. Edwin A. Eubanks was President.
The new century began with "TEXAS, THE NEXT MILLENNIUM" in 2000. King Frivolous LXXXV was E. Douglas McLeod. The Queen was Rosmond Elaina Duzick. The President was Fred D. Raschke.
In 1999, Momus danced under the big top with "CIRCUS MOMUS". King Frivolous LXXXIV was Edward B. McDonough, Jr. The Queen was Rebekah Lee Doherty. The President was R. Gary Peters.
"THE BIG SPEAK EASY" Momus salutes the Roaring Twenties in 1998. Robert Young Pagan was King Frivolous LXXXIII. Anna Elizabeth Raimer was the Queen. James B. Earthman was President.
1997 proved to be truly magnifico when Momus proclaimed "Mexico Magnifico!" with hundreds of Mexican performers and artisans participating. Pierre M. Schlumberger was King Frivolous LXXXII. Frances Lorna Howell was Queen. William C. Ansell was President.
The New Orleans blues were played throughout The Strand in 1996 when Momus proclaimed a "CRESCENT CITY CARNIVAL". King Frivolous LXXXI was W. L. Moody IV. Tara Colleen Schmidt was the Queen. Edward B. McDonough Jr. was President.
The entire continent of Asia was celebrated in 1995 with Momus’ "MASKS OF ASIA". Rudy Teichman was King Frivolous LXXX. Lindsey Elizabeth McLeod was Queen. William H. Felts Jr. was President.
In 1994 Momus went international once again with a journey to the Mediterranean on a "GREEK ODYSSEY". King Frivolous LXXIX was George P. Mitchell. The Queen was Julie Marlene Milstein Walter. The President was Pierre M. Schlumberger.
Momus was "BROADWAY BOUND" in 1993, with a nod to the stage and its greatest musicals, from Phantom of the Opera to A Chorus Line. Jack T. Currie was King Frivolous LXXVIII. Susan Lee Hornstein was the Queen. Vincent J. Tramonte was President.
1992 proved to be a grand celebration of two worlds when Momus celebrated the Festival de Dos Mundos and proclaimed "VIVA ESPANA!" to honor the quincentennial of Christopher Columbus. King Frivolous LXXVII was Andrew Stirton and the Queen was Eleanor Peters. The President was Andrew Leslie.
The stars were shining on Galveston in 1991 when Momus proclaimed a "HOLLYWOOD SALUTE". Kyle Gillespie was King Frivolous LXXVI. Katherine Fields Seinsheimer Lykes was Queen. Jack Currie was President.
Momus saluted "CARNAVAL DO BASIL" in 1990. King Frivolous LXXV was Dr. William C. Levin. Alexandra Ann McLeod was the Queen. The President was Michael Doherty.
Momus Mardi Gras became an official event of the bicentennial of the French Revolution in 1989 when we celebrated "FETE DE FRANCE". Vandy Anderson was King Frivolous LXXIV and the Queen was Frances Anne Moody Dahlberg. James L. Ware was President.
Momus sailed the Grand Canal in 1988 with "CARNEVALE DI VENEZIA". King Frivolous LXXIII was Robert K. Hutchings. Julie Ann Hutchings Bennett was the Queen. E. Douglas McLeod was President.
Momus traversed the "CARIBBEAN SEAS" in 1987 with Jamaican chefs and Bahamian Junkanoos. Charles E. Fougerousse was King Frivolous LXXII and the Queen was Libbie Thompson Walker Ansell. E. Douglas McLeod was President.
In 1986 we saluted great "CARNIVALS OF THE WORLD" from Germany to South America. King Frivolous LXXI was W. J. Jenkins and the Queen was Katherine Elena Moore Simmons. Kenneth R. Shelton Jr. was President.
We traveled back to the "AGE OF MYTHOLOGY" to kick off the revelry in 1985 and for the grand opening of The Tremont House. Kenneth R. Shelton, Jr. was King Frivolous LXX and the Queen was Margaret Williams Walker Janek.
The revival of the "KREWE OF MOMUS MARDI GRAS" celebration was in 1984. King Frivolous LXIX was David W. Moore and the Queen was Mary Hutchings Cooper.