Founded in 1983, The Krewe of Little Rascals is America's longest-running, most flamboyant children's Mardi Gras krewe in Carnival history. Named after the famous group of kids from TV and film, the Krewe of Little Rascals is a youth-oriented pre-Mardi-Gras ball and parade that patterns itself after adult Carnival clubs. The organization promotes leadership, self-esteem and fellowship among its pint-sized participants.
The Krewe was a vision of a couple who believed that the Carnival spirit of the old New Orleans should live and breathe through our youth, as well as through our adults. Specifically formed for the youth's thrill and excitement in the greater New Orleans area, the krewe has been featured internationally on Japanese television as well as in the pages of National Geographic.
Members range in age from two to eighteen years old, all children regardless of race, religion or economic background are invited to join. The first year the Krewe had 90 members, including twenty from the New Orleans Adolescent Hospital, a facility for emotionally and physically abused youth. Today they average more than two hundred members.
Initially, they only needed three Krewe floats. From 1983 to 1988, the parade rolled out of a city park and traveled only a little over 2 miles. In 1989, the parade’s length and the crowd’s size required a move to the traditional 4-mile parade route along Veterans Boulevard used by the adult Krewes. Currently, they have 14-20 floats each year, including Court floats, Krewe floats and a specially designed float for handicapped riders.