A Mardi Gras KREWE (pronounced in the same way as “crew”) is an organization or any group of people that create a unique history with their own style or themes and parade during Carnival season.
The word is thought to have been coined in the early 19th century by an organization calling themselves Ye Mistick Krewe of Comus , as an archaic affectation ; with time it became the most common term for a New Orleans Carnival organization. The Mystick Krewe of Comus itself was inspired by Julie’s favorite Mobile Mystic Society, with annual parades in Mobile, Alabama, called the Cowbellion de Rakin Society that dated from 1830. A world famous Social Aid & Pleasure Club is ZULU in New Orleans. Satirical krewes such as Krewe du Vieux are always a hit with revelers!
Many krewes support other charities through fundraising and also have private dances or parties for members throughout the year.
Forming a Krewe
If you are interested in participating in any Mardi Gras event, consider forming a Krewe. A Krewe can be comprised any way you choose, from the traditional secret or benevolent society, a business organization, a school group, or just a circle of friends that wants to have a good time.
Asheville Mardi Gras has welcomed a variety of Krewes from the Kids Zoo Krewe to dance troupes to businesses. All are welcome.
TIPS ON FORMING A KREWE
If you would like to establish a Krewe, here are a few things to consider:
Purpose of the Krewe – Are you interested in just participating in the parade, or are you looking for a year round group that might raise money for charity?
Members – How will you select members from your Krewe?
Secret or Not – Do you wish for people to know who is in your Krewe?
Name your Krewe – Think of how you wish your Krewe to be perceived.
Place in the Parade – Do you plan to have a float, ride motorcycles, bikes, or other vehicles? Will you have musicians or dancers in your Krewe?
Theme - Will your Krewe have a theme distinguishing you from other Krewes? Will your Krewe carry a banner identifying your Krewe?
Krewe Captain – What are the roles and responsibilities? Who will coordinate with Asheville Mardi Gras to insure that your Krewe is up on the latest info and to sign-up for the parade?
There is a lot to think about, if you have more questions or need help, simply email Michael Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use our contact form.
If you wish to march in the parade, please complete and return the waiver provided prior to the parade.
Generally, we ask that Krewes have a captain to coordinate information with Asheville Mardi Gras. The captain is responsible for completing the waiver for the Krewe. Each Krewe should have a banner or other way to organize themselves in the parade to ensure that your Krewe stays together. Krewes are also responsible for providing their own throws.
Typically throws are plastic beaded necklaces or plastic or aluminum coins, but Krewes are encouraged to use their creativity and distinguish themselves from other krewes by including collectibles, wrapped candy, balloons or other options. The parade route always includes lots of children so please take this into account when selecting throws and throwing items into the crowd.
Krewes are encouraged to hold events to support fundraising for the Krewe, charities and support Asheville Mardi Gras’ acquisition of parade permits, police support, and other fundraising events. Some ideas for events are sales of Krewe memorabilia, Krewe picnics or house parties, Krewe socials and raffles, Krewe initiation parites and events. Also consider Kross Krewe Events or challenges such as a softball game, dance party or cookoff.
Past Krewe Events include:
Running of the Winos
Kidz Zoo Krewe
Blue Ridge Roller Girls
Royal Charade (vehicle)
Court of the Red Plume
Her Royal Highness the Queen Mum (vehicle)
Oo La La’s Bawdy Bridesmaids
Their Majesties, the King and Queen (float)
Gypsy Bar Krewe (Royal Cake bar)
Krewe of Bastet
Grand Krewe (float)
Krewe After Dark
Krewe of Barkus (dogs)
Pipapelli’s Bagtime Heart of Dixie Razz Band
Asheville Downtown Association Events Krewe
Carpenter’s Krewe and media (float): Nef Des Fous
Occupy the Wedding Theater Krewe
Henry Westmoreland’s Second Line