Mystic Krewe of Olympia
In 1965, a group of friends were having lunch at The Galley Restaurant across from the Covington Courthouse. Among them were Lieutenant Colonel Earl Wilson, Warren Illing, Sr. pharmaceutical sales manager, H. M. “Ollie” Olson, a Delta Airline Pilot, and James Heinrich, a local insurance agent. At the time, Colonel Wilson was president of the Chamber of Commerce.
It was shortly after Mardi Gras, and the conversation turned to the Lions Club parade on Mardi Gras morning in Covington. Colonel Wilson commented that many St. Tammany residents in rural areas probably had never seen a “New Orleans style” parade, adding “wouldn’t it be great to bring one to the community?” By the end of the meeting, plans were under way to form a carnival organization in Covington. Each participant in the project was given the task of signing up 25 members for the organization. By the end of the week, approximately 100 enthusiastic members had formed the Mystic Krewe of Olympia.
Their first ball was held in 1966 in St. Paul School’s field house. Costumes were made by a local seamstress. Props, scenery, flowers, music and tableau were handled by members, so the king was not announced. However, the queen, maids and ladies-in-waiting are all identified the night of the ball. Their identities are kept secret until announced in the ball program.