A quarter of a caper
“J’aime le Vieux Carré” headlined the invite, which featured a French Quarter balcony scene with a “rue Bourbon” sign and a Bevolo-style streetlight. The party in the spotlight Kristina Bickham and Cecelia Zimmerman, whose respective parents are Mr. and Mrs. Mark A. Bickham, Mark and Melissa, and Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mr. Zimmermann, Paul and Louise, the hosts of the party. To let the good times roll — and to show that we all “love the French Quarter” — the deb group and others headed to the vital location, New Orleans Lakeside Airport.
The airport terminal’s Art Deco accents were enhanced by white feather centerpieces; silver and crystal candelabras with New Orleans street signs; and locally inspired tabletop accents arranged with lampposts, carnival masks, oysters with pearls, and trumpets with musical notes. Floral complements were arrangements of all sizes of white roses, tulips and purple lilies.
A magenta-hued design of Yvonne LaFleur equipped Cecelia, who also passes Cece, while mom Louise Zimmermann chose a sky blue cocktail dress. Kristina Bickham made her happy rounds in a champagne-colored jumpsuit from Skies Are Blue Designs. Her mother, Melissa, was shown wearing a cocktail dress from Alexis’s Designs. Both fathers wore traditional white tuxedos with black ties.
Taste pleasures were plentiful, thanks to Messina’s Catering & Events and its range of crawfish pasta, corn and crab bisque, roast beef, crab cakes and bacon-wrapped chicken. Sweets topped the pasture, with donuts, pralines, petit-fours, biscuits inspired by local sites by Joan Farrell Mathisand Roman sweets.
Host force family included Zimmerman deb siblings Catherine Marie and Joseph Warren; and grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Joseph W. Browning and Donald Jeff Zimmerman. Additionally, Kristina’s sister, Dr. Katherine Michelle Bickhamand their grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Léon F. Cornay III. Friends, and there were many Zimmermann-Bickham overlaps, including the Eric C., Brad J. and William “Bill” Zimmermanns, the W. Lee Lowes, the junior Charles Childresses, Mara and Jack Coiron and son georgedr. W. Kenneth Mann (Naomi was traveling), Drs. David and Kristi DeGenova, Susie and Marvin Russell, Allison and Ryan Waldron, Edna Klein, Linda and Alan Brackett, dr. Alan and Joan Sheen, Shannon Walgamotte and Lynda Moreau, the Glen Carters, the Daniel Buses, the George Whites, the Jerry Plows, the Joseph P. Childresses, and the René Navarres. A good number were with adult children for multi-generational fun.
The party tempo was at a steady pace with the band, Category 6, a local favorite, providing a range from the 70s to the musical present. “Sweet Caroline” was a highlighted number, enjoyed by Eliza Nieset, Eugenie Philipson and a host of others. Fluorescent lighting in multiple colors, especially royal blue, bathed the band members, who put the party pack on the ground to wave light batons and don glowing crowns, necklaces and bracelets. The lively fusion of music, color, lights and a fun deb duet in Cece and Kristina was duly captured in the glee of the hit “Don’t Stop Believing”.
Festive excitement in the foreground
“Bubbly & Brunch” was the midday meeting hosted by Ed and Jennifer Stauss, Charles and Dede Redfearn, and Paul and Lee McKee in honor of their respective daughters, Jenny, Cailtyn and Kathleen Hixon. The Audubon Tea Room was the site and Contessa & Co., which is owned by the former debutante Tessa Martinez, served as the party planner. On the back of the invitation, a watercolor depiction of the three winners, all in white robes, showed them strolling through a botanical garden. Fittingly, the Audubon Tea Room itself and its immediate surroundings lent themselves to the garden-themed atmosphere.
Some of the extended decorative elements were framed photos of Jenny, Caitlyn and Kathleen; an abundance of fresh flowers in artful arrangements; and ivory tablecloths and chair covers, which were belted in spring blue, a favorite color of the trio. Caitlyn and Jenny sported the color in jumpsuits, while Kathleen wore all white. The six parents showed up in summer clothes.
From the start, guests headed to the buffet of Caesar salad, oatmeal and grilled meats, shrimp etoufée, three-cheese tortellini, pork tenderloin and a suite of sweet treats. The dessert table was adorned with two large vintage birdcages, as well as a huge champagne glass filled with iridescent bubbles and gold Mylar tissue paper to give the effect of pouring champagne. Meanwhile, edibles were themed-shaped sugar cookies, petit fours and brownies, royal cake and gold-dusted macaroons in pastel pink and lavender.
Within the “Bubbly” Squad were Kathleen Hixon’s mother and stepfather, Lee and Paul McKee, as well as the deb’s brother, Tom Hixonand, as relatives and friends, Heather Duncan, Brittany Pearson, Kelly Boyd, Leslie Jacobs, Lynn Hoffman, Jeanie Rosenblum, Susan Dickerson, Catherine Provosty, Olivia Falk, and Caroline Carazo.
Staus sisters Madeline Meriwether and Megan Renee joins deb sister, Jenny, for the midday festivities, just like their grandmother Ursula Kotissek Williams. Still others were Mary Celeste Williams Kerry, Kelly Ann Patrick Williams, Lori Frances Williams Marascalco, and Angela Lea Dartez Williams.
Caitlyn’s grandfather, Robert L. “Bob” Redfearn, was not officially invited as it was a “women only” event. The winners’ fathers showed up for the start and end of the party, along with deb brothers Tom Hixon and Charles James Redfearn. Mingling, too, were Angelle Lyman, Katie Lyman, Lynn Alexandra “Alex” Redfearnand Beverly Redfearn.
Dozens of other members of the fledgling coterie were invited (and attended), as were their mothers.
Dressed in seersucker suits and ties, the musicians of the three-piece combo caught the eye. The ear too, as they served rhythm and rejoicing to showcase Jenny, Caitlyn and Kathleen, whose natural effervescence “boiled” on the social surface.