Krewe –WHO?

It’s 94 days to Mardi Gras.

The musical selection to start us off this week is Professor Longhair singing: Go To The Mardi Gras

As you listen to the music, photos are flashing. The black and white shot with the HUGE crowd is not Bourbon Street, but Canal Street. The shot of the tree with stuff hanging down – that stuff isn’t Spanish moss, but Mardi Gras beads. The song mentions the Zulu King. When I was a girl, a neighbor of ours was King of the Zulus.

The photo below of Professor Longhair is from Johanna’s Visions: a music site. It’s chock-full of musical information.

I am going to apologize right here – I can’t get WordPress to load links, so I’m going to add them. I hope you’ll take a moment to cut-and-paste and link to the sites as you read.

Last week on our Journey to Mardi Gras, Miss Pamela shared with us a personal story that included marching bands and the Krewe of Pegasus.

This week, we’re going to follow her lead with a closer look at krewes.

When you see the word “krewe” you most likely think – “What?”

Legend has it that Krewe comes from the old English word Crew. Origin: late Middle English – crewe

A Krewe (crew) is a group of people involved in a particular kind of work, only in New Orleans, the work involves Partying and Parading.

Each krewe has a theme. For example: Rex is the oldest parading krewe, dating back to 1872 and their colors are purple, green and gold. There’s Zulu, named for the fiercest of African tribes and their “throws” are coconuts. Pegasus’ slogan is, “Neither rain, nor cold, nor strike, nor hurricane’s might.” Their “show must go on” attitude is evident in their history, which you can read about, and information about other krewes at Go Nola

I’m interested in the Krewe of Orpheus.

Here we’re going to change the music and then link music and Mardi Gras krewes.

Take a listen to Harry Connick, Jr. and Dr. John in a live recording from 1989 singing Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans.

The 2013 Mardi Gras is the 20th anniversary of the Krewe of Orpheus.

One of its founders is Harry Connick, Jr., known for his musical prowess, so it’s fitting that the krewe he helped found is named Orpheus.

Mythology: Orpheus, the son of the Greek muse, Calliope, and Apollo, was a greatest musician. His songs charmed even the hardest of hearts.

(For the record, I’ve seen Harry Jr. in concert, and I met his father, a musician and singer, too, at a jazz club in New Orleans.)

The photo is compliments of photographer Paul Mannix. He’s got some other really cool photos of all things Louisiana.

Orpheus rolls on Lundi Gras, the Monday night before Fat Tuesday, however, they’re kicking off the Carnival season with a party they call 13th Night, on Saturday, January 5th.

Want to know more about Orpheus? Here are FAQs:

1.) When is the Orpheus Parade?
Monday, February 11, 2013 beginning at 6pm.
2.) How can I ride in the parade?
Only members of the Krewe are allowed to ride in the parade.
3.) Can anybody join the Krewe of Orpheus?
All men and women of good character are welcome to apply for membership.
4.) How do you become a member of the Krewe of Orpheus?
Please contact our office at (504) 822-7200.
5.) Are there activities besides the parade for Krewe Members?
We have several social events throughout the year including pub crawls, 13th Night,
Open House and the Captain’s Party.

6.) Can I go to the Orpheuscapade if I’m not a member?
The Orpheuscapade is open to the public. To purchase tickets, please contact our office at (504) 822-7211.

Now every krewe has their special throws – think party favors – that krewe members toss to the crowds as they pass. Many of the “throws” are now collector items. Krewe Orpheus sells throws through their website.

I hope you’re enjoying the Journey to Mardi Gras. Let me know how you like the music!

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Linda Joyce


About Linda Joyce

Writing is a curious journey. You don't pick it, it picks you. See my website at to learn more about me.
This entry was posted in Authentic Living, Mardi Gras, Music, New Orleans and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Krewe –WHO?

  1. pamelavmason says:

    Linda! Lovin’ this!
    Do you know that in Mobile, there are Krewes and other groups called Mystic Societies.
    And… love Harry Connick Jr. I remember his daddy being the DA when I was little.

    I’m also fascinated by the relationship between some krewes. I hope you get a chance to touch on Rex and Endymion’s tradition.

    • Linda Joyce says:


      It took me forever to write today’s post. I went down so many differnt alleys, wanted to cover way too much. I would love for you to guest blog again, and maybe enlighten us about what happens in Mobile.

      I found this:
      “However, it’s Mobile, Alabama that claims to be the first place in the U.S. to celebrate Mardi Gras — way back in 1703. Today, the celebrations are geared more towards family fun than other carnivals, and aim to be an event for all ages.

      Many other cities through the U.S. also get in on the act, such as San Diego’s Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp Quarter, the Cajun Mardi Gras in Lafayette and Mardi Gras! Galveston in Texas. Carnaval Miami, lasting two weeks starting the Saturday before Ash Wednesday, is known as the biggest Hispanic festival in the U.S. Events include a golf tournament, a cooking competition and a grand finale street party.

      Even cities you wouldn’t expect — like Seattle, Chicago and Philadelphia — have events. Readers tell us St. Louis puts on quite a show too!”



      • pamelavmason says:

        Linda, I probably get my love for MG from my dad, who is in the MOTs (Mysticks of Time) in Mobile where he lives now. Yes, Mobile’s Mardi Gras is older and has a rich history – not as boozy as NOLA’s, but colorful nonetheless.
        I’d love to offer a post on Mobile’s MG – just say when! Thanks!

      • Linda Joyce says:


        Write it when you have time and send it to me. I’ll slide it into the mix when I get it. I so appreciate it! And, I’m looking forward to learning about Alabama’s celebrations.


        Linda Joyce.

  2. You’re really bringing the event to life. I’d always wanted to go but can’t do the crowds anymore. Would love to be on a balcony over looking the parades and such though.

  3. Bill Chance says:

    Love New Orleans and love Mardi Gras. Just came back home from my first Halloween in New Orleans – that’s a special time to be there too.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Maggie says:

    This whole concept fascinates me (and of course, the music is rockin’ as always). A few years back, I contracted to write an article on Mardis Gras and the research was fascinating! Thanks for continued glimpses into this very cool holiday 🙂

    • Linda Joyce says:


      Thanks for the note! So happy to hear you love the music. When you did your research, was there a topic in particular that you really liked? Would you like to put your research to use and be a guest blogger on an aspect of Mardi Gras? I’d love to have you. 🙂


      Linda Joyce

  5. What a cool invitation, Linda! I doubt my research was all that awesome, though :-/ I’d love to guest with you sometime, though! (And we’d love to have you after the first of the yer when we get our stuff together)

    • Linda Joyce says:


      What lead you to research Mardi Gras and what captured your attention, I think would make a great post! Just let me know when you want to jump into the Mardi Gras parade here at my blog. 🙂



  6. writermaggiemontgomery says:

    You know, I reckon I could do that. Can it be after Dec 8, though? I have GOT to get through finals 🙂

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