The first thing you notice about the Crewe of Columbus is the spelling of the name. It's the only group on the Gulf Coast that uses "Crewe" instead of "Krewe." When the group was founded in 1921 (1922, the year of its first parade is used as its beginning date), it was the Krewe of Columbus, and it was only open to members of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men's organization.
After several years, however, membership was opened to others, and in 1937, the Krewe was reorganized and re-emerged as the Crewe. The main reason for the spelling change was so the initials of the Mardi Gras organization would not be confused with the Knights of Columbus.
In recent years, the COC parade underwent another big change. It was a longstanding tradition that members of the Crewe built the floats themselves. But in 2010, COC hit the downtown streets with professionally built floats, including their mainstays, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.
To see the Mask's photos and video of previous Crewe parades, click here.
This year, the Crewe of Columbus rolled on February 5 at 6:30 p.m.
The highly modern theme this year was Just Google It! although the title float said the theme was Apps - an earlier incarnation. The parade included 18 floats designed by Mark Calametti and built by Steve Mussel's Mirth Co.
To see the Mask's HD video of the 2016 parade, click here. And the Mask's slideshow of photos from the 2016 parade is below.
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