The Krewe Du Vieux is also known as the Carnival Krewe or Madi Gras in New Orleans. The original term for the carnival was Krewe Du Vieux Carre. The parade which starts off in the Maringy makes its way slowly past the Vieux Carre. The term Vieux Carre refers to the French Quarter in the city. This carnival is one of the first held in the carnival calendar and is known for its adult themes and wild satirical views. It also showcases several marching bands in New Orleans.
The Krewe Du Vieux was first held in 1987. It is a combination of many sub krewes or semi independent krewes that got together to combine their resources for obtaining parade permits and various other obligations. These sub krewes were the predecessor to the main Du Vieux event between the '70s and '80s. Of all the parades that New Orleans proudly presents, the Krewe du Vieux is the most traditional and individualistic of the parading krewes. The floats are not as large as the ones pulled by tractors, instead the floats are smaller which are mostly drawn by mules or even humans. There is no blaring music coming from the truck’s boom box, as the Krewe du Vieux puts on a live music show with live artists. The floats that are used are made by the krewe members and often decorated with a satirical theme or political theme set in the 19th century. Other than a few small krewes which are allowed to pass through the French Quarter, of the larger ones, only the Krewe du Vieux is allowed to walk through them.
There is a king or queen crowned each year at the Krewe du Vieux. Many of them are local representatives, local musicians, writers, artists and various colorful characters. The King of the Vieux in 2010 was Dr John and the theme was centered on fire, called ‘Fired Up’. There were several pianists and performers to make this a night to remember for everyone who attended the parade! There were bonfires, walking on burning sphincters, fire drillers, fire truckers, gun smokers, firecrackers, pot holers, cinder fellas, fire horses and fire bugs and the Krewe had a candle burning at both ends of the French Quarter as they made their way through the Faubourg Marigny. Even after the devastation of Katrina in 2006, it was the Krewe du Vieux that first rolled though the city of New Orleans.