Krewe of Eve – The Best is Yet to Come
It’s funny that the words paradise and parade are so similar, because to the 465 members of the Krewe of Eve, that’s exactly what riding through the streets of Mandeville among throngs of revelers is to them. This year, after not being able to roll in 2021 due to Covid restrictions, paradise has been regained. Last year, the krewe would’ve celebrated their 35th ride, so this year’s theme reflects that milestone albeit a year later: 35.2 Years and the Best is Yet to Come. Each of the 22 floats will reflect a theme used previously in the parade’s long and colorful history.
Amanda Jones, Eve’s Vice-President of Publicity, says the krewe was disappointed about last year’s cancellation but understood that safety comes first. “The upside is that everyone is doubly excited this year. Participation at our meetings is up, and we even have a great new tradition – The Apple Hunt.” Amanda explains that in lieu of their parade last year, Eve organized a scavenger hunt for their signature glitter-adorned apple throws. “Normally, we would’ve been throwing that day, so we wanted to engage our loyal parade-goers in a safe way. We took 35 of our apple throws — representing our 35 years — and packaged them along with some other throws. I got up before dawn to hide the bags all along the parade route. We posted a treasure map and clues on Facebook and as families found the apples, they posted their photos. It was received so well that we plan do it every year, maybe in the summertime.”
This Year’s Ride Brings New Surprises
Adding to this year’s excitement is the unveiling of a new float. “We love surprises,” says Amanda, “and this is a big one! Our members haven’t even seen it yet. We also like mixing up throws too, and this year we are introducing a new plush dog throw in carvinal colors along with our popular plush snake.” And to make the night even brighter, the Krewe of Eve has lighted swords, hats, apple beads and apple rings. Amanda, Krewe Captain Christi Fair, three additional board members, and dozens of float lieutenants and sergeants work year-round to make Eve successful and fresh. For Amanda, it’s a passion that continues to grow. “I like being a part of something that’s so big in the community. I started in 2007 and get more involved every year. Riding was on my bucket list, then I became a lieutenant with my own float, and now I’m on the board.”
Founded in 1986, Eve has stood the test of time and garnered a fiercely loyal membership, with some members spanning multiple generations. Amanda says this is the key to the krewe’s ongoing strength. “We have such a dedicated board and lieutenants, but we also have a core group of die-hard members who refuse to let anything stop us. They love bringing friends and family on board and support our efforts all year. Our members contribute to the Northshore Food Bank and the Mandeville Police Holiday Gift Giveaway. We also put together 900 Christmas stockings for the Granny Gertie charity – we do Easter baskets with them as well – and our “Glitter Litter Krewe” teams up with Keep Mandeville Beautiful every quarter to clean up our streets.”
Fun + Service = Passion
Two such passionate Eve members are sisters Sarabeth DeLaune Accardo and Katie DeLaune Segrave. The twins were introduced to all things fun-loving about New Orleans at an early age as pages in the Krewe of Poseidon. As adults living on the Northshore, Katie was first to join Eve in 2008 and Sarabeth came aboard quickly after in 2009. “I joined Katie in the krewe after seeing how much fun she was having. We love how the Krewe of Eve gives back to the community in the form of toy drives, food drives and other opportunities to volunteer for great causes.”
Katie and Sarabeth also take the opportunity to revel at the party of the year, Eve’s dinner dance, held at the Castine Center the Saturday before their ride, where the Royal Court is presented in all their bejeweled and feathered finery. Krewe members celebrate with their fellow riders and cheer for their lieutenant as each is recognized. Katie and Sarabeth’s husbands, Jacob and Jay, join in the festivities where the couples dance the night away. The twins’ parents, Jay and Sue, join the party making family memories unique to this little part of the world. Making this year even more special, the sisters will introduce their next generation to the inner workings and traditions of Mardi Gras as their parents did for them. Logan will join mom Katie, with Jillian and Wyatt joining mom Sarabeth as Royal Pages to the King and Queen of Eve. Sarabeth beams, “We are really excited to share our love of carnival with all the kids who just can’t wait – especially Jillian who will have her day as a little princess.”
Royalty and Rock Stars
And speaking of Eve royalty — of all of the masked merrymakers in attendance, one lucky krewe member will reign over the parade as Queen Eve. “It’s a once in a lifetime experience being at the center of it all. As exciting as it is to ride, there’s nothing like the intensity of the moment the court is announced.” This year’s Queen Eve is Mrs. Barbara Burns and is accompanied by her “King Adam”, David Burns.
Amanda concludes that the friendships, the activities, the charitable endeavors and the community outreach are all part of why the Eve family thrives, but there’s another reason these ladies work so hard all year to maintain their little slice of heaven on earth. “It’s a rush to see thousands of people on the streets during the ride. Everyone is calling your name and yelling for you – that excitement is addictive. It’s the closest a normal person can come to being a rock star.”
The Krewe of Eve Parade is scheduled to roll in Mandeville at 7 pm on Friday, February 18, 2022. For more information, visit facebook.com/kreweofeve.