Krewe of Neptune
Celebrating Over 30 Years of Revelry
The Krewe of Neptune was founded in 1981 by founding officers: Kenneth Fournier – Captain, Gray Slay – President, Sandy Steckler – 1st Vice President, Dr. Michael Bourgeois – 2nd Vice President, Barry Barq – Recording Secretary, Burt Tremmel, Sr. – Corresponding Secretary and Bill Pittman – Treasurer.
Charter membership consisted of 150 members. Over the past 29 years Neptune has had members from as far away as Houston, TX and Atlanta, GA. With the krewe selecting the Gulf Coast as its home it was only befitting to select a name that is related to the water. Neptune is the roman God of the Sea and was a fitting choice. The Krewe of Neptune is patterned after the old-line New Orleans krewes which are heavily based upon secrecy.
Each year, Neptune holds a “Bal Masque” with all members wearing some form of mask and no members names are ever announced our listed in the program. The only names listed in the program are the female members of the court, the maids and queen. The tradition holds that in earlier times, the businessmen of New Orleans were not able to frolic and celebrate in fear of losing business. For this reason, masks were worn and names were never announced.
The 1982 Carnival Season played host to the Krewe of Neptune’s inaugural ball where Neptune presented “The Sea”. Reining of the first Neptune celebration was King Neptune I – Vincent Clements and Queen Venus I – Sarah Jane (Wilson) Sullivan. Each year the officers and the captain select a theme for the upcoming celebration. The King and the Dukes are selected by the draw of a hat of interested parties. The Queen and Maids are selected from member’s daughters, granddaughters and nieces. The Queen and Maids must be between the ages of 18 and 26 years and never been married.
The Krewe of Neptune’s first parade was held on Mardi Gras Day in 1983 on the streets of downtown Biloxi. The parade is unique in the fact that all floats are obtained from New Orleans, and transported to Biloxi. The organization is divided into smaller krewes with a Line Lieutenant in charge of each krewe. Each of these krewes ride represent something different pertaining to the theme of the ball and each krewe rides on a different float.
Neptune was dealt a massive blow on August 29, 2005. With her winds & surge, Katrina did all she could to destroy the spirit of Carnival along with every structure she took down in her path. Once the Sea had returned to its rightful place, the Krewe of Neptune very much resemble that of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Given our ties to the sea & its ruler, the Krewe of Neptune was not going to let Katrina determine its fate. With the resurrection of the Coast, Neptune too would rise from the rubble & prove it could Weather the Storm.
In 2009, six young businessmen from the Gulf Coast met with the officers of Neptune & developed a plan that would not only resurrect the Krewe of Neptune, but restore the Krewe to all of its glory. Five months later "NEPTUNE WEATHERS THE STORM" was held for the first time since Katrina, the Krewe of Neptune parade rolled the streets of downtown Biloxi on Fat Tuesday.