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Red Jackets: Betty Lowry reigns as queen of Black, White and Read All Over Mardi Gras Ball

Jan. 25th updated.

Queen Betty Lowry and King Edward Habetz toast with
Queen Betty Lowry and Kind Edward Habetz toast the crowd during the inaugural Daily Advertiser Black, White, and Read All Over Mardi Gras Ball Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015 at the Cajundome in Lafayette, La. Photo by Leslie Westbrook, The Advertiser.

The inaugural Daily Advertiser Black, White and Read

Click here for the photo gallery of the event.

Kris Wartelle, Daily Advertiser, Jan. 10, 2015

0107BettyLowry0003.JPG

Betty Lowry, co-founder of Lowry’s Printing and Copying and great-granddaughter of Daily Advertiser founder William Bailey, is pictured at Lowry’s Wednesday, January 7, 2014. She is the queen of The Daily Advertiser Black, White and Read All Over Mardi Gras ball to be held Jan. 24.(Photo: Leslie Westbrook, The Advertiser)

Betty Jeanmard Lowry, 81, of Lowry’s Printing and Copying, has been a newspaper reader all of her life. It makes sense, considering she grew up in the printing business. In fact, her great-grandfather, William Baily, founded The Daily Advertiser some 150 years ago.

“He started out as an apprentice printer,” Lowry said. “Then he went off to participate in the Civil War. When he came back, he (became) the first publisher of the newspaper.”

This year, The Daily Advertiser will celebrate its 150th anniversary with something new yet familiar to Louisiana residents. The newspaper will hold the first annual Black, White and Read All Over Mardi Gras Ball, complete with royalty, refreshments and entertainment.

Naturally and quite appropriately, our organizers turned to Lowry to request that she reign as queen over the event.

“I was kind of surprised,” Lowry said when she heard the news. “But, you know, being the great-granddaughter and all, I’m happy to be a part of the celebration.”

Lowry, known as “Momma B” to her five children and grandchildren, is planning a lot of newspaper-themed surprises for her family and friends who attend the ball. Lowry’s daughter, Mella Viera, is helping her make special decorations to match her newspaper robe.

“We are making newspaper flowers, paper crowns, we’ve got tambourines and all the decorations for the king and queen’s table,” Viera said. “We are even going to have two pages. Her two grandchildren will be newsboys with rolled up newspapers. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Although Lowry grew up in Lafayette and is part of an old, established family, she said she never really participated in balls or Mardi Gras krewes before. And, she said, she certainly has never been royalty before. So we asked her to sit down with us and share with readers a few of her royal thoughts, as The Daily Advertiser’s queen for a day.

Question: As queen for a day, what are some things you would like to decree?

Answer: Everybody would get a day off of work. Bring Mardi Gras back downtown on Jefferson. We can’t hang out on Jefferson anymore, the way the parades roll now. And work together to promote Acadiana. 

Q:Anything else?

A: And eat a lot of king cake.

Q:What is your majesty’s favorite King Cake?

A: Keller’s. I grew up with Keller’s. I even used to go to their old location when Pop Keller would sit in there and make the roses for the cakes. That was a long time ago, of course.

Q:What will you be wearing for the royal ball?

A: Black palazzo pants, a black, shiny jacket and a red top. And some shoes with a little bit of a heel.

Q:Sensible shoes? Like the Queen?

A: Yes, sensible shoes.

Q:How would you like you and your reign to be remembered?

A: I’d like to be remembered as a fun leader. It will be a memorable day for me.

Next week, meet Ed Habetz, a 50-year employee of The Daily Advertiser and the king of the first annual Black, White and Read All Over Ball.

Want to go?

Black, White and Read All Over Mardi Gras ball presented by The Daily Advertiser

7pm. to 12am.

Sat., Jan. 24

Cajundome Convention Center

Tickets are $30 for subscribers, $40 for non-subscribers. Available for purchase at The Daily Advertiser offices at 1100 Bertrand in Lafayette.

Athletic Network Footnote by Ed Dugas:

Click here for Betty’s Athletic Network Profile.

Click here for Lowry’s bumper sticker promotion of the Athletic Network.

Click here for Betty, Corinne, and other Red Jackets celebrating 2013 Homecoming.