Tomorrow, on Lundi Gras, the Krewe of Red Beans will parade once again through New Orleans to share their immense sense of community and diversity, and of course – their love of red beans and rice.
The Krewe of Red Beans was founded in 2009, inspired by a mixture of New Orleans traditional cultural practices like the annual suit-making of Black Masking Indians and the parade style of second lines. Many members make their own red bean mosaic costumes as a tribute to New Orleans’ beloved culinary tradition of red beans and rice, typically enjoyed on Mondays.
Over the years, the parade grew in popularity and size. Today, there are three different bean-parades and about 450 krewe members. They also pride themselves as being the only Krewe where parents can parade with their children at their side. Their guiding values are accountability, diversity, community, creativity, love, and respect.
One of the amazing qualities about this Krewe is their dedication to helping and serving their community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Krewe of Red Beans raised over $3MM and created over $1MM in employment opportunities for 252 creators in New Orleans. Overall, they helped 104 musicians, 33 Mardi Gras Indians, 67 Second Line & Baby Doll members, 23 artists, and many more.
The Krewe raised enough money that they were able to create Feed the Front Line NOLA, a non-profit that raises money to buy food from locally-owned restaurants and delivers them to all frontline hospital workers during the pandemic. The Krewe partnered with some three dozen restaurants like Heard Dat Kitchen in Central City, Joey K’s in the Garden District, Compere Lapin in the Warehouse District and Marjie’s Grill in Mid-City.
Continuing their community work, the Krewe of Red Beans has created other charity groups like Hire a Mardi Gras Artist, Bean Coin, Fest Fest, and Feed the Second Line. The Krewes’ new endeavor began in November of 2023, when they sought out an old furniture factory to become their very own clubhouse, community space, and non-profit headquarters. The space is called Beanlandia and will be accessible to not only Krewe members, but the entire community.
The Krewe of Red Beans typically parades through the Bywater area starting near the Marigny Opera House. The Krewe of Dead Beans parades through the Bayou St. John neighborhood starting near Pitot House. An offshoot of Red Beans, The Krewe of Feijão joins that parade in the Bywater. They are set to begin their parade at 2pm on Monday, February 12th.
See the full 2024 Mardi Gras parade schedule here.