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Krewe du Vieux Mission

The Krewe du Vieux is a non-profit organization dedicated to the historical and traditional concept of a Mardi Gras parade as a venue for individual creative expression and satirical comment. It is unique among all Mardi Gras parades in the city because it alone carries on the old traditions of Carnival celebrations, by using decorated mule-drawn floats with satirical themes, accompanied by costumed revelers dancing in the streets to the sounds of jazzy street musicians. We believe in exposing the world to the true nature of Mardi Gras - and in exposing ourselves to the world.
Krewe du Vieux Trademark

The Krewe du Vieux Goofy Guy symbol (logo), “KdV” and “Krewe du Vieux,” are protected trademarks.
These trademarks and copyrights may not be used for any commercial or promotional purpose whatsoever without prior written permission from Krewe du Vieux. We do not license this symbol, or any likeness, for commercial or outside purposes..

Krewe du Vieux Membership

Many have asked the question: "How do I become a member of Krewe du Vieux?" The simple answer is: "You can't."
Krewe di Vieux is made up of 17 sub krewes. In order to be in the mother Krewe you must be a member of a sub krewe. Seek the answer to your question there.


Brief History of the Krewe du Vieux

The Krewe du Vieux (KdV) was founded in 1987, born from the ashes of the fabled Krewe of Clones. The Clones began in 1978, based out of the Contemporary Arts Center. This “Art Parade” became wildly popular for their imaginative and creative street performance art. By 1985, the Krewe of Clones had grown to 30 subkrewes and over 1500 marchers.

After the Clones imposed rules designed to create a respectable Uptown parade, Craig “Spoons” Johnson of the Krewe of Underwear and Don Marshall of Le Petite Theatre du Vieux Carre conspired to form a new parading Krewe. Their intent was to bring back parading in the French Quarter in the free-wheeling style of the Clones without myriad rules and expenses. Free from the constraints of decorum and reality, KdV was established as an official parade.

The “Krewe du Vieux Carre” would henceforth march in the French Quarter on the third Saturday before Fat Tuesday. The Krewe’s historical name, suggested by Don Marshall, paid homage to Le Petit Theatre, one of KdV’s earliest supporters. The theater was the pre-parade gathering spot for several years, with many of their performers joining the entourage.

“Spoons” was our first Captain, assisted by Susan Gibeault and Ray “Plaine” Kern. These three friends combined their talent for lunacy and satire with lots of hard work. After Ray was appointed Captain by popular acclaim, the motley group of 150 revelers evolved into a loosely organized group of 600 members divided into sixteen subkrewes following an announced route.

Pioneer subkrewes from those early days included the Seeds of Decline, Underwear, Mama Roux, C.R.U.D.E, and Space Age Love. Traditions such as the hand-made, hand or mule-drawn floats and showcasing our city’s incredible brass bands became firmly established. The annual “Krewe du Vieux Doo” ball that is traditionally held immediately following the parade has become an exciting finish to the night.

Another innovation deviously devised by Captain Kern came in 1992: in honor of the reign of King Angus Lind, renowned scribe at the Times-Picayune, Krewe du Vieux created its wildly popular newspaper/scandal sheet, Le Monde de Merde. Often described as “sixteen pages of pure libel,” it has never been translated due to contents that are neither printable nor fit for refined discourse. Ray’s time as Captain culminated with the 1998 “Souled Down The River” parade, ending at the uniquely appointed Ball site, the recently closed Krauss Department Store on Canal Street.

The next year “Plaine” Kern was kicked upstairs to reign as KdV royalty and the Captain’s mantle fell on Keith Twitchell. Keith worked tirelessly to organize this hurricane-force group during his three year tenure, initiating many upgrades to the floats. Pierre Mc Graw, Captain of the Knights of Mondu, developed a float design template for navigating the Quarter’s narrow streets and pirate’s alleys. Custom-made harnesses and hitches used for the mule-powered floats further connected KdV to the ancient traditions of Mardi Gras.

In 2001, KdV presented its first Title Float to the world. The upgraded floats also debuted that year and parade spectators found many of the 17 subkrewes looking far less shabby than usual. KdV learned to face the music and the truth: we were growing like kudzu and drawing crowds like a cockfight. Captain Keith also began the tradition of our Captain’s Dinner, held prior to the parade to honor our royalty, past and present.

Additionally, Jim and Tonia Aiken fortuitously purchased a Faubourg-Marigny warehouse with “Plaine” during this period. Known as the “Den of Muses,” this building became headquarters for most of the krewes to meet, store, and build their floats. This cauldron of creativity is the place where KdV becomes one, the Quonset hut where dreams and glue guns meet.

The State Palace Theater on Canal Street hosted our Vieux Doo from 1999-2006, right till the moment it was declared unsafe for even the likes of us. Kathrine Cargo became Captain during this era. She led us like a Pied Piper from atop her stud-ly mule, and we followed that ass. “Captain Inertia,” as she was known, presided over us for four steady years. Susan Gibeault won the lottery of leadership in 2005, the year her house would flood. Susan worked like a Cajun in a pirogue hustling us through Bayou Misery. Hundreds of Krewe members were displaced and our beloved Den of Muses narrowly averted disaster.

The 2006 parade was the first Mardi Gras parade post-Katrina and the worldwide spotlight shone on Krewe du Vieux. Media from over eighty countries covered the parade which marched with the highly appropriate theme of “C’est Levee.” The 900 members of Krewe du Vieux knew the truth: Preserve our culture and heritage first, and the recovery will follow. The 2006 parade was an extraordinary success; despite hundreds of thousands of residents in forced exile and unseasonably cold weather, the crowd was enormous. The satire erupting from the souls of our members was brilliant and poignant.

In 2007 Lewis Schmidt ascended from “Vice” to Captain, leading us around mold and sheetrock as the Crescent City slogged through a slow recovery. Mentally stressed and traumatized citizens rejoiced as we selected Chris Rose, author of “One Dead in Attic,” as our royalty. The years 2008-2010 marked The Second Coming of Captain “Plaine” Kern. KdV bounced between the Trash Palace, Colton School, and Michalopoulos Studio for its elusive Ball site during these years as we grew to almost one thousand members. Lee Mullikin of the Mystick Krewe of Comatose is the current Captain. He trained for three years as Ray’s underboss.

2010 represents our 25th year in existence and we have selected Don Marshall as our very deserving royalty.

Krewe du Vieux is an existential culmination of vision and spirituality, not easily described. Our parade brings us together from our everyday lives for one glorious night of love, primitive desires and ecstasy. We bond to the people around us as we playfully exchange smiles, hugs, and the joi de vivre that New Orleans brings to the world.


Past Parade Themes and Royalty

Each year, the mutha krewe establishes a theme for the parade, and each sub-krewe then interprets it in their own inimitable fashion.

1987: Odd Couples
Queen: Charmaine Neville
1988: Krewe du Vieux "Eats Out"
King: Chef Paul Prudhomme
1989: Krewe du Vieux "Predicts"
Queen: Lois Simbach
1990: Smells Something Fishy
King: Al Scramuzza
1991: Lost Conventions
King & Queen: Rick Graham & Becky Allen
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, Feb. 15th.
Walter "Wolfman" Washington & the Roadmasters

1992: Rights the News
King: Angus Lind
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, Feb. 6.
Marva Wright and
John Mooney

1993: Posthumorously Yours
King: Henri Schindler
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, January 29th
Li'l Queenie & Her Great Big
All-Star R & B Demo Derby

1994: Braces for "The Ballot of New Orleans"
King: Danny Baker
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, February 11th
The Mystic Herd of Nutria
The Iguanas

1995: Reveals It's "Unnaturally New Orleans"
Queen: Gio
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, February 3rd
The Iguanas
Lenny McDaniel Band
Adams/Griffin Project

1996: Achieves "Decade-ence"
King & Queen: Ronnie Virgets & Lynne Jensen
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, January 25th
Ernie K-Doe
Oliver Morgan
Tommy Ridgely

1997: Krewe du Vieux Goes Deep
King: Buddy Diliberto
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, February 7th
Irma Thomas & the Professionals Marcia Ball

1998: Gets "Souled Down the River"
Queen: Irma Thomas with Grand Duchesses Marcia Ball & Tracy Nelson
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, January 30th

1999: Studies "Urban Myths"
King & Queen: Ray "Plaine" Kern and Queen Urbana (Jodi McDaniel)
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, February 19th
Paula & the Pontiacs
Deacon John

2000: The Idiots and Oddities
King: Walt Handelsman
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, February 10th
John Cleary and
the Absolute Allen Gentlemen

2001: Explores "A Space Fallacy"
King: Ernie & Antoinette K-Doe with Grand Duchess Tee-Eva
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, February 19th
Papa Grows Funk

2002: Explores "Depraved New World"
King: Andrei Cordrescu
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, February 15th
Anders Osborne
Big Chief Monk Boudreaux
the Golden Eagles and
Cyril Neville

2003: Goes "Off the Record"
King: Uncle Lionel Batiste
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, February 7th
Trombone Shorty Brass Band
Marica Ball

2004: Embarks on "Quest for Immorality"
Queen: Coleen Salley
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, January 22nd
Eh, La-Bas!
Jon Cleary and
the Absolute Monster Gentlemen

2005: Asks WWKdVD?
(What Would Krewe du Vieux Doo?
King: Al "Carnival Time" Johnson
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, February 11th
Ivan Neville's
Dumpstaphunk

2006: Says "C'est Levee"
King: Walter WIlliams
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, February 3rd
Big Chief Bo Dollis and
The Wild Magnolias

2007: Builds A "Habitat for Insanity"
King: Chris Rose
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, January 19th
101 Runners, Juice
Special Guest J.D. Hill
Honey Island Swamp Band

2008: Takes A "Magical Misery Tour"
King: Ronald Lewis of the House of Dance & Feathers
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, February 7th
Eric Landell
Zydepunks

2009: Releases Its "Stimulus Package"
King: Franklie Ford
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, January 30th
The Lower 911 Band
Los Po-Boy-Citos

2010: Is "All Fired Up"
King: Dr. John
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, February 19th

2011: "25 Years Wasted"
King: Don Marshall
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, February 4th
Walter "Wolfman" Washington's
Afunkalypse
Fred Wesley

2012: Commits "Crimes Against Nature"
Queen: Deon Haywood
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, January 19th
BlueBrass Project
Big Chief Monk Boudreaux

2013: Krewe du Vieux "Comes Early"
Queen: Bethany Bultman
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, February 15th
Big Chief Monk Boudreaux

2014: Goes "Where the Vile Things Are"
King: John Barry
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, January 31st
Kirk Joseph and
the Change Makers
James "12" Andrew

2015: Krewe du Vieux "Begs for Change"
King: Jim Aiken
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, January 23rd
George Porter Jr. and
the Runnin' Pardners
Walter "Wolfman" Washington

2016: Krewe du Vieuxxx is Rated XXX
Queen: Big Freedia
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, February 11th
Herlin Riley and his
Krewe du Funk
Water Seed

2017: Presents "Crass Menagerie"
King: Bunny Mathews
Krewe du Vieux Doo

Saturday, January 27th
Khris Royal and
the Big Booty Express
Morning 40 Federation

2018: Explores "Bienville's Wet Dream"
King: Richard Campanella
About Krewe du Vieux

The Krewe du Vieux is a non-profit organization dedicated to the historical and traditional concept of a Mardi Gras parade as a venue for individual creative expression and satirical comment. It is unique among all Mardi Gras parades in the city because it alone carries on the old traditions of Carnival celebrations, by using decorated mule-drawn floats with satirical themes, accompanied by costumed revelers dancing in the streets to the sounds of jazzy street musicians. We believe in exposing the world to the true nature of Mardi Gras—and in exposing ourselves to the world.

Email: info@kreweduvieux.org