The Krewe of Armeinius holds New Orleans' most lavish and satirical gay carnival ball. Established in 1969, Armeinius has for 45 years, held a gay carnival ball on the evening of the Saturday before Mardi Gras.
The affair is strictly formal and strictly personal. Armeinius krewe members host this elaborate ball for the enjoyment of their invited guests who are seated at tables around the ball floor where they enjoy an abundance of food and drink while the krewe members display their costumes in a series of tableau presentations. To receive a table invitation to the ball is an indication that you have arrived in New Orleans gay society. In recent years, due to ever increasing costs, the membership has opened the ball to the general public with balcony seating for a modest donation.
Krewe membership is by pledging at the annual rush party or by nomination during the year by a krewe member. Once admitted into the organization, members work year long holding fundraising events to finance the ball. The work doesn't stop there. Individual members are responsible for the building of their own costume. The krewe maintains a studio where they meet weekly to build costumes and sets for the next year's ball.
The krewe, by tradition, has many of its costumes entered in the Bourbon Street Awards on Mardi Gras Day where they have yearly won many first place awards.
For the Decades the safety of the Krewe and its members depended on its secrecy and exclusivity. After such incredible progress that has been made with equality in the last decade the Krewe has found sought and found its new mission in the years to come. The Krewe of Armeinius now serves as an educational and historical preservation organization that seeks to preserve and pass on the traditional art of gay Mardi Gras costume creation and archive the gay historical photos, documents, and memorabilia from the past. The social club has since this mission change represented the city of New Orleans in commercials, hosted seminars, and collected and archived its history with the State of Louisiana to become one of the largest gay historical archives of its sort in the country.