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St. Paul's Carnival Association is proud to present our 2017 Royalty...

King Christian  LXXXVII

Donald J. Rafferty


Donald J. Rafferty is a Pass Christian native who has lived in Pass Christian his whole life. Donald attended St. Paul Catholic School and St. Stanislaus College. He is a graduate of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Southeastern Louisiana University. After college, he worked an array of jobs, including on a shrimp boat, as a waiter, maintaining sailboats and in the oil field on tug boats and offshore boats. After he graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1984, Donald opened his own law practice from his parents’ home in Pass Christian and, later that year, an office in Gulfport that he has maintained since.

From 1985 to 1989, Donald was a Municipal Judge for the City of Pass Christian. In 1991, he was appointed Special Counsel for the City of Bay St. Louis, a position he held until 2006 when he was appointed City Attorney. He has held that position to the present.

Donald is a member of the Mississippi State Bar Association, the Harrison and Hancock County Bar Associations, a life member of the Mississippi Association for Justice and former member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Association of Trial Lawyers of America.

Donald grew up as a member of St. Paul Catholic Church and St. Paul Carnival Association. His family connections to the carnival association stretch back nearly 80 years. He is the grandson of King Christian 1938, Dr. Donald G. Rafferty, and the son of King Christian 1958, Rory Robin Rafferty, Sr. His brother, Rory Robin Rafferty, was King Christian in 2003. Donald served as a page in 1963 and has been a Duke several times over the years.

Donald is married to Susan (Israel) Rafferty. They have three daughters, Maggie, Vicky and Colleen, who all attended St. Paul Elementary School. They also have four grandchildren, Ava, Micah, Mitchell Rory and Raelyn. Donald and his family attend Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Donald is a member of the Knights of Columbus and the former chairman of the St. Paul Seafood Festival. He continues to support and volunteer his time to the school and the children of Pass Christian.


Queen Christiana 2017

Dawn Sessum LaMarca


Dawn Sessum LaMarca was born in New Orleans but has called Pass Christian home since she was three years old. Dawn received her education from the Pass Christian School System. She and her husband of 34 years, Michael, are co-owners of Pirates Cove Restaurant in Pass Christian. They have three children, Kristin LaMarca May, Anthony LaMarca and Aaron LaMarca, all of whom attended St. Paul Elementary School and St. Vincent de Paul Elementary School. Their grandson, Grayson, is currently a student at St. Vincent de Paul.  Dawn and Mike are members of Holy Family Parish.

Dawn has been a long-time supporter of the St. Paul Seafood Festival. She worked many hours as a volunteer to help make the festival a success.

Dawn has been a member of St. Paul Carnival Association for many years. Her mother, Shirley Sessum, was Queen Christiana in 1978. Her husband was King Christian in 2008.


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