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Mardi Gras Krewes

Krewe of Cork

Krewe of Cork
Krewe of Cork
Krewe of Cork
Photos by Judi Bottoni

"Wine, Food, Fun" is the slogan of the Krewe of Cork, a Carnival walking parade that takes to the streets of the French Quarter eleven days before Fat Tuesday every year. But even though "Wine" is listed first, "the emphasis is on 'Fun,'" according to K of C co-founder and King, Patrick van Hoorebeek.

"Fun" was the krewe's true intent when a handful of French Quarter oenophiles got together at a well-known French Quarter restaurant in 2000 and decided to join the Mardi Gras madness with their own celebration of life's epicurean delights. The krewe began its walking parade in 2001 on the Friday that falls a week before Carnival's final weekend, then it expanded beyond Mardi Gras and started parading on Royal Street during the annual New Orleans Wine & Food Experience every May.

Van Hoorebeek is the krewe's perennial king but each year a new queen is selected.

The parade takes in the French Quarter's key streets – Royal, Bourbon and Dauphine – and is typically accompanied by "wine police" on golf carts, whose motto is "To serve and pour," and they are responsible for filling krewe members' wine glasses and keeping them supplied with bottled water. Unlike other Carnival krewes, the Cork parades keep the same theme each year, and paraders must wear costumes with a wine-related theme.

The parade's Grand Marshal is a different vintner each year. Parading members throw doubloons, beads and special krewe medallions featuring their logo; a pair of wine bottles over a bunch of grapes. During the parade, the krewe stops in front of selected hotel restaurants and toasts them, often joined by officials of those hotels. At the parade's end, the krewe holds its "King and Queen Libation Ball" at the Musee Conti Wax Museum.

For more detailed information and a parade route map visit

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