New Orleans SuperKrewes
While there are many Krewes that hold various functions throughout the Carnival season, over the years a certain and prestigious brand of Krewes have evolved that have gained the title of Superkrewe.These Superkrewes are defined as having more than 500 members and they throw the biggest balls and parades. Also, unlike other Krewes whose membership is limited to a particular section of society: doctors, businessmen, women, etc. the Superkrewes’ membership is open to anyone willing to pay the annual dues.The Superkrewe tradition began in 1969 with the founding of the Bacchus Krewe, named after the Greek god of wine.When Bacchus came onto the scene, their enormous floats stunned and delighted parade goers and city officials with both their size and beauty.
Also, Bacchus’ first King broke from tradition and created a new one in that it wasn’t a city leader but Hollywood actor: Danny Kaye.Since that time two other Superkrewes have emerged:Endymion – The second Superkrewe to emerge onto the Carnival circuit in 1974 had a similar impact as Bacchus did in 1969.
From incredible floats to holding their Endymion Extravaganza Ball in the New Orleans Superdome (with more then 10,000 guests each year) Endymion is one of the Superkrewes that helps to keep the Mardi Gras tradition alive.With their motto of “Throw till it hurts!”,
Endymion has some of the largest floats in the Carnival often carrying about 150 members each. Their grand marshals have included: Jason Alexander, KC & The Sunshine Band, Britney Spears, Dolly Parton, Spuds McKenzie, and many others. Anyone can become a member, the only requirement is that a current member must sponsor your application, and you pay the initiation fee.
Orpheus – Though only it has been around for a decade the Orpheus Krewe has quickly secured their place in Carnival history. Founded by New Orleans native and famous jazz musician, Harry Connick Jr., the name derives from the Greek God of music naturally. From their Orpheuscapade ball that draws thousands of revelers for a night full of entertainment by well known musicians, to their incredible floats that attract both celebrities and common citizens, Orpheus prides itself on including as many people into the Mardi Gras atmosphere. Their parade usually happens the night before Fat Tuesday and their grand marshals have included: Stevie Wonder, Josh Hartnett, Whoopi Goldberg, David Copperfield, Toby Keith, and countless others.