When the Krewe of Pepe rolls through the streets of Franklinton on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 2 p.m., David Michael Stewart will ride as king and Dwan Williams-Long as queen.
The couple of six years resides in Mt. Hermon and has a daughter, Bella Maree Stewart.
Williams-Long said she is excited about being named Pepe royalty.
“I didn’t grow up around Mardi Gras, so this will be an opportunity to learn what Mardi Gras is all about, the traditions of Mardi Gras and just the whole experience with family,” she said.
The Krewe of Pepe will kick off its carnival season with a ball on Jan. 19, President Jackie Tate said. On parade day, the krewe will travel along its normal route under the theme of “Forward Together.” About 12 to 15 floats are expected, she said.
Williams-Long is looking forward to that day. She already has her dress and has asked co-workers, family members and her closest friends to share in the parade experience.
“They’re going to be involved,” she said. “They’re going to be on the float with me, and we’re just going to have a good time and enjoy Mardi Gras.”
The krewe was founded in 1978 by Cecealins “Pepe” Tate, with the parade intended as an activity for families to enjoy without having to venture far from home, said his sister, Jackie Tate.
“We started this parade for little small children that couldn’t make it to the big cities and all that,” she said. “We wanted to keep it local, family oriented.”
Pepe’s king is the 33-year-old son of Darrell Stewart of Baton Rouge and Sheryl Peters of Harden, Texas. David Michael Stewart has two sons, LaQuincy and Camron. He is a 1998 graduate of Franklinton High School and a 2007 graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice. A veteran who served in Afghanistan from 2003-04, Stewart served in the Louisiana National Guard from 2001 until 2007 and assisted with disaster relief following Hurricane Katrina. He is a production supervisor for Purina Animal Nutrition in Arcola.
Williams-Long, 31, is the daughter of Cage and Stephany Williams and has a daughter, Deja Long. A 1999 graduate of Franklinton High, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing in at Southeastern in 2005. She graduated from the University of South Alabama in 2011, with a Master of Science degree in nursing. She worked during and after Hurricane Katrina while employed as a registered nurse at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans and is currently working as a pediatric nurse practitioner at Slidell Memorial Hospital and Children’s International Medical Group in Franklinton.
Anyone interested in participating in the parade is asked to contact Tate at 515-0515 or 839-6884 or Stephany Williams at 839-4093.