MANDEVILLE, LA – The Original Krewe of Orpheus (OKO) has suspended their parade activities for one year.
This eliminates Orpheus from the Mandeville parade schedule for 2020.
“We are in the process of re-building our membership and did not feel that we could display the type of parade Mandeville deserves.” Explains OKO Captain Chad Bordelon. “It is our plan to roll once again for Mardi Gras 2021. We have a core membership of about 100 adults who love Mardi Gras and want to parade in Mandeville. We feel that we need to double that membership in order to put on a really good parade.”
“A Mardi Gras parade is a rather expensive project and virtually all of the cost has to be covered by krewe membership.” Bordelon explained. “Our club is fiscally sound has a very positive bank balance; but we cannot risk going into debt to build out a parade. We pay for the floats, the throws, the bands and many of the logistics surrounding the parade event day. In addition, the city of Mandeville covers some of the cost. We felt it best to wait until our membership was large enough to cover these expenses and to supply great entertainment to the families of Mandeville. It was important for us to make this decision now so that schools (bands), marching groups and the city can plan ahead accordingly.”
Traditionally, OKO parades in Mandeville on the Friday before Mardi Gras Day.
Bordelon also indicated the krewe intends to move their parade date to an earlier weekend. “We believe the competition for bands and parade units is at a peak on the final weekend. We prefer to use an earlier parade date so that we can begin the Mardi Gras season in Mandeville. An earlier parade date will draw visitors from all over the metro region to Mandeville. We’re excited about that change. Plan for our next parade to be Friday, January 29, 2021. Mardi Gras is February 16, 2021.”
Bordelon added, “Our krewe is still very much alive and active with socials. We will be back with a strong parade in 2021.”
OKO President Eddie Pablovich explained the membership strategy at Orpheus, “We’ve had to suspend our parade once before. In doing so, we organized a dozen strong float lieutenants and they are the ones who really build up our membership. Each float lieutenant invites friends, neighbors and co-workers to join his or her float. Most floats are comprised of a group of friends who know each other and want to enjoy the Mardi Gras parade experience with one another. Mardi Gras krewes are a great atmosphere for friendships and fellowship.”
Anyone interested in joining the Original Krewe of Orpheus may visit the website to find an application and full membership details.
The Original Krewe of Orpheus was formed in 1987 by a group of Northshore businessmen who wanted to begin a Mardi Gras parade in Mandeville.
Named for the Greek muse Calliope, the north shore krewe preceded the Orleans Parish krewe of a similar name by more than a decade; hence the reference to “original”.
The krewe suspended their parade once before following a decline in membership after Hurricane Katrina.
Originally an all-male krewe, Orpheus became a co-ed krewe in 2017.
The krewe’s signature throw is the Orpheus Pineloon.
Legend has it that those who catch an Orpheus Pineloon and display it in their home will experience good fortune all year long.