Krewe du Vieux
|Named after||Vieux Carré|
|Founders||Craig “Spoons” Johnson, Don Marshall|
|Founded at||New Orleans, LA|
History and formation
The parade begins in the Marigny and slowly meanders its way through the Vieux Carre ("Vieux Carre" being another term for the city's French Quarter). It is one of the earliest parades of the New Orleans Carnival calendar, and is noted for wild satirical and adult themes, as well as for showcasing a large number of New Orleans' best brass bands.
The Krewe du Vieux was established in 1987 as a replacement of the Krewe of Clones, which flopped after the city tried to make it more respectable for visitors who stayed on in the city after the 1986 Superbowl. The Krewe de Vieux is actually an amalgamation of several smaller semi-independent krewes (or sub-krewes) that pool their resources together for parade permits and other expenses and obligations. Several of the sub-krewes predate the Krewe du Vieux, originating as walking clubs or as sub-krewes of the defunct Krewe of Clones in the 1970s and early 1980s. The history behind the parade states that the ruling class of New Orleans wagered if they gave the common people one day a year to go crazy and mock the elites then the satiated masses would allow them to maintain control for the remainder of the year. Participation in the parade is open to anyone who is part of a sub-affiliated krewe in good standing.
The Krewe du Vieux is perhaps simultaneously the most individualistic and the most traditional of all New Orleans parading krewes. It has no large tractor-pulled floats like the larger krewes, using only old-style, small, human-drawn or mule-drawn floats interspersed with marchers on foot. Krewe du Vieux only has live music, hiring some of the city's best brass bands to march with them. The floats are handmade and decorated by members of the respective sub-krewes, often with themes satirizing local politics and customs, sometimes of a bawdy nature — in such aspects arguably closer to early-19th-century Carnival traditions than any other Krewe currently parading. The Krewe du Vieux is the only Krewe still allowed to parade through the French Quarter (other than some small walking Krewes on Mardi Gras Day); krewes with larger floats have been prohibited in the narrow streets of the old town since the 1970s. The parade is noted for its sophisticated floats, witty debauchery, open mockery of topical municipal campaigns, and wildly entertaining levels of tastelessness.
Krewe du Vieux typically selects a parade theme pulling from ideas of political satire, sexuality, and local culture.
|2020||Erection 2020||BB St. Roman|
|2019||City of Yes, Yes, oh God Yes!!||Walter "Wolfman" Washington|
|2018||Bienville's Wet Dream||Richard Campanella|
|2017||Crass Menagerie||Bunny Matthews|
|2015||Begs for Change||Dr. James Aiken|
|2014||Where the Vile Things Are||John Barry|
|2013||Comes Early||Bethany Bultman|
|2012||Crimes Against Nature||Deon Haywood|
|2011||25 Years Wasted||Don Marshall|
|2010||Fired Up||Dr. John|
|2009||Stimulus Package||Frankie Ford|
|2008||Magical Misery Tour||Ronald Lewis|
|2007||Habitat for Insanity||Chris Rose|
|2006||C'est Levee||Walter "Mr. Bill" Williams|
|2005||What Would Krewe du Vieux Do?||Al "Carnival Time" Johnson|
|2004||The Quest for Immorality||Coleen Salley|
|2003||Off the Record||Uncle Lionel Batiste|
|2002||Depraved New World||Andrei Codrescu|
|2001||2001: A Space Fallacy||Ernie K-Doe|
|2000||da idiots & da oddities||Walt Handlesman|
|1999||Urban Myths||Ray “Plaine” Kern|
|1998||Souled Down the River||Irma Thomas with Grand Duchesses Marcia Ball and Tracy Nelson|
|1997||Krewe du Vieux Goes Deep||Buddy Diliberto|
|1996||Krewe du Vieux Achieves "Decade-ence"||Ronnie Virgets|
|1995||Unnaturally New Orleans||GiO|
|1994||The Ballot of New Orleans||Danny Barker|
|1993||Posthumorously Yours||Henri Schindler|
|1992||KDV Rights the News||Angus Lind|
|1991||Lost Conventions||Becky Allen and Ricky Graham|
|1990||Krewe du Vieux Smells Something Fishy||Al Scramuzza|
|1989||Krewe du Vieux Predicts||Lois Simbach|
|1988||Krewe du Vieux Eats Out||Chef Paul Prudhomme|
|1987||Odd Couples||Charmaine Neville|
Kings and Queens of the Krewe du Vieux take their participation very seriously. Henri Schindler, who rode as King Sarcophagus I in 1993, showcased how far some "royal members" go in their celebration. Schindler designed his float and gathered an extensive court of royals as his leading entourage. While riding along the parade route, he stopped in front of the Boston Club--a traditional stop for toasting the Kings of Carnival--to a lay funeral wreath.
- "Krewe du Vieux Parade". neworleans.com. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
- "Krewe du Vieux | Mardi Gras New Orleans". www.mardigrasneworleans.com. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
- Times-Picayune, Doug MacCash, NOLA com |. "What is the Krewe du Vieux parade and why you shouldn't go: Answers for newbies". mardigras.com. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
- Hardy, Arthur (February 17, 2015). "Alternative krewes have long been part of Mardi Gras in New Orleans". The New Orleans Advocate. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
- "Krewe Boheme and Krewe du Vieux expected to bring a show to New Orleans". WWL. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
- Times-Picayune, Masako Hirsch, The. "Krewe du Vieux gets Mardi Gras parade season off to a satirical start". NOLA.com. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
- ALLMAN, KEVIN. "Motley krewe: How Krewe du Vieux developed its satirical, raunchy style of parading". The Advocate. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
- Times-Picayune, Doug MacCash, NOLA com |. "Krewe du Vieux is Mardi Gras' worst parade. Don't miss it". NOLA.com. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
- "Krewe du Vieux Parade in New Orleans". GoNOLA.com. January 16, 2019. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
- MacCash, Doug. "Walter 'Wolfman' Washington crowned Krewe du Vieux 2019 king at 75th birthday concert". The Times-Picayune.
- MacCash, Doug. "Krewe Du Vieux 2017 crowns cartoonist Bunny Matthews king". The Times-Picayune.
- Advocate, ARTHUR HARDY | Special to The. "Arthur Hardy: Meet Henri Schindler, a major force in bringing Carnival's past into the future". NOLA.com. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
- Adler, Constance. "Drawing From the Past". The Advocate. Retrieved August 10, 2019.