New Orleans, La. - A sinister crew paraded on Frenchmen Street Tuesday night.
Members of Krewe du Vieux held their annual "Shakedown," visiting local businesses to collect donations to help defer the cost of their events, and to support the New Orleans Musicians' Assistance Foundation.
Krewe members dressed in gangster attire invaded local businesses such as d.b.a. bar, Dat Dog and Snug Harbor, strongly suggesting that owners hand over envelopes full of money to support their cause.
The Krewe Captain says the evening is a Public Service Announcement.
"We don't want their businesses or their buildings to get damaged in any way by the crowds and the parade that comes by, so we're selling them a little bit of insurance," he smiles.
Michael Kohn of d.b.a. bar says he has no problem paying it forward.
"It's all in good fun. Krewe du Vieux is one of the greatest events that happens in the city, no less Frenchmen Street, no less the Marigny, So I'm more than happy to get 'shookdown' as they say," says Kohn.
In addition to helping pay for parade logistics such as mule rentals, funds raised go toward helping local musicians get much-needed medical aid.
Cultural pioneer and musician Ronald Lewis is a former King of Krewe du Vieux, and someone who the Krewe is eager to help.
Krewe du Vieux rolls this Saturday, February 16th, with the theme: "The City of Yes, Yes, Oh God Yes."