Mardi Gras

2019 GCCA king and queen announced

The 2019 Gulf Coast Carnival Association Queen Ixolib Caitlyn “Caty” Marie Lesso and King d’Iberville James Franklin Hardin Jr.
The 2019 Gulf Coast Carnival Association Queen Ixolib Caitlyn “Caty” Marie Lesso and King d’Iberville James Franklin Hardin Jr. James Edward Bates Photography

The Gulf Coast Carnival Association’s royalty for 2019, the organization’s 111th year, are King d’Iberville James Franklin Hardin Jr. of Biloxi and Queen Ixolib Caitlyn “Caty” Marie Lesso of Biloxi.

Caitlyn “Caty” Marie Lesso

Caitlyn “Caty” Marie Lesso of Biloxi is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mark Mavar and the late Rudolph Lesso III. Her maternal grandmother is the late Kathleen Frances Smith. Her paternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph Lesso Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. Victor Mavar Sr.

She is a graduate of St. Patrick High School where she served as editor-at-large of the yearbook staff, varsity cheer captain, senior class vice president and was a member of the homecoming court. She was chosen as a member of the Spring Ball Court for the Cotillion Club of Gulfport. She is currently in her senior year studying construction engineering in the STEM Path to MBA program at the University of Alabama where she received a full academic scholarship. She has already been accepted into the Culverhouse College of Business at the University of Alabama to pursue her MBA. She is a member of the University of Alabama Honors College, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Student Chapter of International Justice Mission, Student Engineers in Action, a student member of American Society of Civil Engineers and has remained on the dean’s list since her freshman year. She has recently been asked to join Chi Epsilon, a national civil engineering honor society.

She is a member of Kappa Delta Sorority where she serves as vice president of standards. She serves as junior member of Kappa Delta Standards Board. She is on the University of Alabama Homecoming Service Committee. She volunteers at Matthews Elementary School in Tuscaloosa with Al’s Pals organization. She is a parishioner at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Biloxi and St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Tuscaloosa.

GCCA affiliations: She was previously a flag bearer and was a maid to Queen Ixolib in 2018. Her late father, Rudolph Lesso III, was a duke in 1999. Her stepfather, Mark Mavar, was King d’Iberville in 2012. Her brother, Jarrod Lesso, was a flag bearer. Her brother, Christopher Mavar, was a page in 2014 and is a flag bearer this year. Her brother, Ryan Mavar, is a page to King d’Iberville in 2018. Her grandfather, Victor Mavar Sr., served as King d’Iberville in 1998. Her aunt, Elizabeth Mavar Spratlin, was Queen Ixolib in 1993.

James Franklin Hardin Jr.

James Franklin Hardin Jr. of Biloxi is the husband of Lezlee Champaigne Hardin. They are the parents of Shanel Marie Williams and Cole Franklin Hardin. He is the son of James Franklin Hardin Sr. and Barbara Hardin.

He is a graduate of Judson High School in San Antonio, Texas, and The University of Texas at Austin where he earned a bachelor’s degree in construction management. He is president and owner of Aladdin Construction Co. in Biloxi and co-owner and partner in OHOS Land LLC in Ocean Springs. He was the 2011 president of the Mississippi Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, 2017 president of The Mississippi Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America and currently is a board member of the Mississippi Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America.

He is a member Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church. He is a member of The Revelers where he served as king in 2016. He is a member of the Gulfport Yacht Club, Bayou Bluff Tennis Club and Mississippi Gulf Coast Big Game Fishing Club.

GCCA affiliations: He was a duke in 2007. His daughter, Shanel Marie Williams, was a maid in 2004. His son, Cole Franklin Hardin, was a flag bearer in 2006. His son-in-law, Dr. Robby Williams, serves as duke in 2019. His cousin, David Leckich, is a duke in 2019. His cousin, Elliot Voivedich, was a flag bearer in 1981 and is a duke in 2019. His grandsons, Kenner Martin McCaleb and Riggs Franklin McCaleb, are pages to King d’Iberville in 2019. His uncle, Joseph Leckich, was a duke in 1980 and his nephew, Clayton Courtney, was a flag bearer in 1985.

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