What are you ...? with the King and Queen of Blue Dome District's Mardi Gras parade
BY NICOLE MARSHALL MIDDLETON World Scene Writer
Thursday, February 07, 2013
2/07/13 at 4:44 AM
All hail the new King and Queen of Tulsa.
King and Queen of the Blue Dome District's Mardi Gras parade, that is.
The parade is in its fourth year, but Shannon Easton and Justin Orcutt will serve as the first royalty of the event.
Easton works for the George Kaiser Family Foundation as the event coordinator for Guthrie Green. She was born and raised in Tulsa and attended Oklahoma State University.
"I will wear my crown with a big smile, knowing that I am a part of this wonderful city," Easton said.
Orcutt manages a food truck for The Dog House and is the co-owner of a small record label, Okie Tone Records.
"My family was one of Tulsa's founding families, operating the state's first amusement park at Orcutt Park, which is now Swan Lake. I support the parade because I love seeing the continued revitalization of downtown, and it is events like this that will further that."
Here's what they have to say about life and times in their royal kingdom.
... loving about Tulsa lately?
Easton: I have lived in Tulsa my whole life, and I am finally beginning to feel that we aren't only growing as a city but a community. Many people in our city are working hard to keep the continued growth and beautification happening in Tulsa, in a good way.
Orcutt: I love seeing Tulsa continue to blossom into an arts- and music-driven city with a booming urban center.
... reading/watching/listening to in your spare time?
Easton: I have been reading my work emails, watching every OKC Thunder game and listening to a lot of my mom's old vinyl - I have a huge collection and continue to add to it. This week's listens include Ray Charles' self-titled and debut album for Atlantic Records from 1957.
Orcutt: Right now I'm reading "The Redneck Manifesto" by Jim Goad, which is blowing my mind, and listening to a lot of John Moreland & The Dust Bowl Souls, which is equally mind-blowing.
... planning to do as your first royal act as king/queen of the Mardi Gras parade?
Easton: My first act will be to appoint my Royal Court. You know who you are, ladies. Start looking for something to wear.
Orcutt: If the position came with real power, I would be on a mission to improve our city's public transportation.
... looking forward to most about being king/queen of the Mardi gras parade?
Orcutt: I'm pretty happy that Shannon was named queen. She's someone I've known and respected awhile, and I think together we will rule in a fair and just manner.
... hoping to see for the future of Mardi Gras celebrations in Tulsa?
Easton: Mardi Gras celebrations aren't just for New Orleans. I hope as the years go on groups and organizations around Tulsa will want to have the float in the parade and families all around Tulsa - and surrounding areas - will want to come downtown to join the party.
... enjoying most about your job recently?
Easton: I am enjoying working with my small team and other creative Tulsans putting together the 2013 calendar currently. The year is shaping up to be full of events with great organizations, diversity and a ton of music and performing arts. I love my job, my city and the people I am surrounded by every day. Thank you, Tulsa.
Orcutt: I love every aspect of my professional life. Working the food trucks, being part of the culture, you meet so many great people. It's consistently fun. With the label, I have the privilege of being able to call some of my favorite artist friends and get to see Oklahoma's music scene continue to spread to a wider audience. Very fulfilling.
Original Print Headline: What are you ... ?
Nicole Marshall Middleton 918-581-8459
Justin Orcutt and Shannon Easton, named the first king and queen of Tulsa's Mardi Gras parade, pose in their regalia at The Blue Dome. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World