One of the groups with hereditary membership whose members organize and participate as costumed paraders in the annual Mardi Gras carnival. See Note at beignet.
Origin of kreweAlteration of crew1. Our Living Language In order to organize and stage the enormous Mardi Gras carnival every year, many New Orleans families have belonged for generations to krewes, groups that create elaborate costumes and floats for the many Mardi Gras parades in the two weeks leading up to “Fat Tuesday.” Not only do the krewes participate in the parades, but, as leaders of New Orleans society, they also hold balls and other elaborate events during the carnival season, which lasts from Christmas up to Mardi Gras itself. The krewes are responsible for electing Rex, the annual king of the carnival, whose parade is the climax of Mardi Gras. While masked paraders had long been a part of Mardi Gras, the first carnival group organized as such was the Mystick Krewe of Comus in 1857. Krewe is only an imitation of an old-fashioned spelling of crew in its standard meaning, but the word, thanks to its association with Mardi Gras and New Orleans high society, has taken on some of the mystique of the carnival.
- A private organization in New Orleans that exists to stage a Mardi Gras Ball, Mardi Gras Parade, or both.