300 Gentleman Pirates, Twelve Floats,
Ten+ Parades, Three Formal Balls,
And So Much Fun!
The Krewe of Lafitte, of Pensacola, Florida, is the largest all male Mardi Gras Krewe in the Florida Panhandle. The Krewe was founded in 1954 to promote local tourism and as a means to celebrate Carnival. The 300 Krewe members enjoy a strong bond between themselves and their families. The Krewe of Lafitte is proud to fill the parade routes with twelve lighted floats, all built and maintained by the members. Three of the floats are used for traveling to numerous out of town events, from Navarre to Bradenton, Florida. The Krewe also participates in five local parades including an illuminated Christmas Parade for children. The activity doesn’t stop with parades; Krewe members also raise funds for charities and visit local schools, assisted living facilities, hospitals, and retirement homes, spreading cheer and happiness.
During the Christmas, Mardi Gras and Fiesta Parades, the pirates of the Krewe of Lafitte man the floats and take to the streets of downtown Pensacola. The Krewe has hosted the illuminated Mardi Gras parade since 1954. Numerous other local Krewes participate in our parade as well as visiting organizations from Fort Walton, Panama City, Tallahassee, Bradenton, and Gulfport. The Krewe of Lafitte enjoys bringing the citizens of our community together in a celebratory atmosphere for Christmas, Mardi Gras, and the Fiesta of Five Flags.
The “Gentleman Pirate” and the “Terror of the Gulf” was a furious pirate in the early 19th century. Lafitte considered himself a gentleman and preferred the term privateer to pirate. When the United States went to war with the British in the War of 1812, Lafitte decided to fight alongside the very people who considered him a common criminal.
Jean Lafitte had a large impact on the outcome of the Battle of New Orleans. Lafitte had assets that were valuable in the battle – he had knowledge of the geography of the swamps and bayous of New Orleans plus he commanded over eight hundred men.
Andrew Jackson named Jean Lafitte and his brother Pierre for having “exhibited … courage and fidelity.” He formally requested clemency for the Lafitte brothers, Captain Dominique Youx, and their men. A full pardon was granted to them on February 6th, 1815.
Congratulations to our new Jean Lafitte LXIII, John Mancill, his Queen, Robin Sharit, and their court:
Aide-de-camp – David Goodson
Knights of the Court and Their Ladies:
John Thomas & Beverly Campbell
Bill Trenchard & Michelle Durden
Mike Harris & Corrie Morris
Dennis Schroeder & Celeste Bell
Curtis Williams & Melissa Walker
Tim Wise & Michelle Moser
Children of the Court:
Will Andel – Sword Bearer
Ashton McFadden – Scepter Bearer
Owen Andel – Royal Medallion Bearer
Olivia Meyers – Queen’s Train Bearer
Emma Jackson – Queen’s Train Bearer
Audrey Andel – Royal Baldric Bearer
Our new Float Captains are:
Robert Mandel – The Sword
Kevin Wilbourn – The Cave
Larry Tronu, Jr. – The Grey Ghost
Steve Knox – Blackbeard
Ken Simpler – The Octopus
Grady Earnheart – The Shell
Greg Campenella – The Parrot
Charles Dyess – The Chained Pirate
Mark Butler – The Dragon
Joe Bednarek – Float Master
Jon Hernandez – Barn Master