Mardi Gras is world-renowned for many different reasons, one of which is the classic Fat Tuesday parade that occurs every year. This parade involves the marching of over 100 different krewes, which are social groups that get together every year in order to participate in the parade in the form of riding on floats or walking in large groups. They are truly a spectacle to behold, but one krewe seems to stand out from among the rest, Pete Fountain’s Half-Fast Walking Club.
What is Pete Fountain’s Half-Fast Walking Club?
This krewe is well-known to many New Orleans residents due to their tendency to turn this celebration into an excuse to get together and begin a slightly intoxicated walk through the blissful streets of the French Quarter. Their tradition of doing so stretches all the way back to 1961, when legendary jazz clarinetist Pete Fountain decided that he wanted to be a part of the Mardis Gras parade.
Unfortunately, after being extended no invitations from other krewes, Pete decided to take matters into his own hands and form an impromptu krewe with his family and friends. They became inebriated and began to stroll down the parade route as part of the festivities. And thus, the Half-Assed Walking Club, as they were originally known, was born.
What Made This Group so Popular?
As previously mentioned, there are over 100 different krewes involved in the Mardis Gras celebrations, so what is it exactly that makes this Half-Fast Walking Club so popular? One part of this is the fact that Pete simply started this krewe to have a good time. Therefore, every decision that was ever made was decided specifically to make the celebrations more fun for everyone involved.
Another big reason why so many people are familiar with this krewe name is the fact that Pete had many close celebrity friends who would occasionally become part of the Half-Fast Walking Club. One of the most frequently recurring celebrity members was the Disney voice actor and comedian Phil Harris, but there were also notable appearances by John Goodman and other celebrities.
Where is This Krewe Now?
Pete Fountain’s Half-Fast Walking Club is still very much a part of the Mardis Gras celebrations and is one of the best parts of the parade for many onlookers. Unfortunately, the krewe is no longer led by its namesake since his passing in 2016. But Pete’s son-in-law is now the organizer of the krewe and its now impressive membership of over 200 people. Plus, the spirit of becoming intoxicated before beginning the leisurely walk through the parade route is still very much a part of this krewe’s yearly activities.
Although there are many different wonderful krewes that make up the Mardis Gras parades and each of them is spectacular in their own right, few can hold a candle to Pete Fountain’s Half-Fast Walking Group. To get more information on this krewe and possibly become a member, check out their Facebook group today.