Krewe of Jefferson no longer parading after 50 years

Published: Aug. 28, 2023 at 1:46 PM CDT
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METAIRIE, La. (WVUE) - The Krewe of Jefferson, which hosts the oldest truck parade in Metairie, says it no longer will participate in Mardi Gras due to a lack of participation.

In 2022, the Krewe boasted over 2,000 members and 45 truck floats. However, on Mardi Gras Day, only 22 trucks rolled, according to Historian Arthur Hardy.

Organizers announced the disbandment in a Facebook post Monday (Aug. 28).

“Times are a lot different than it used to be,” krewe captain Aaron Campeaux told Fox 8. “When it’s not working anymore, you know when to pull the plug, and it’s just the times for everyone with the money and it’s very tough right now.”

Campeaux recently took over the operations for the krewe. He says a lack of participation over the past few years led him to make the tough call.

After 51 years, the Krewe of Jefferson is no longer participating in Mardi Gras due to the lack of participation thank you.

Posted by Krewe of Jefferson on Monday, August 28, 2023

Arthur Hardy says truck parades like the Krewe of Jefferson are the most affordable way to ride.

“When the economy is tough, it’s the first thing to go. And the other part of that is that there’s never been more choices if you have the means,” Hardy said. “So, I’m sorry to see them go, but it in no way indicates that Mardi Gras is in trouble.”

Michael Juan is a part of the other truck parade that rolls in Metairie on Mardi Gras Day, the Krewe of Elks-Jeffersonians.

“People are just finding out the Krewe of Jefferson disbanded,” Juan said. “Jefferson Parish told me last week. I’ve already been receiving a lot of phone calls and emails from the other krewe that they want to ride again this year.”

Juan says truck parading has always been a family affair.

“When I was a kid riding on my dad’s truck, the two weeks leading up to Mardi Gras we went out and caught every bead we could to throw on Mardi Gras Day,” Juan said. “That was the original recycling. The old saying is houses sink in New Orleans because you have Mardi Gras beads in the attic.”

Campeaux has his own memories of the family-friendly atmosphere.

“My son’s 11 now, Carson. He’s been doing this since he was about two,” Campeaux said. “We’ve made so many memories. It’s just heartbreaking.”

The Krewe of Elks-Jeffersonians says its doors are wide open for any riders in need of a new spot on the parade route.

“If you’re not a part of the family, they want you to be part of the family. You get out there and work on the truck and have a good time,” Juan said. “It’s like a big party for 10 miles. On Mardi Gras Day there is nothing that compares with riding.”

The Krewe of Jefferson first rolled in 1973 with a dozen trucks.

Hardy says he’s aware of at least three groups with hopes of securing a permit to ride for the first time in Jefferson Parish this year.

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