Krewe of Cork Celebrates 20 Years of Wine, Food and Fun!

This Krewe of wine-enthusiasts celebrates 20 years in 2020. The Krewe of Cork was founded by bon vivant, Patrick Van Hoorebeek. Patrick quotes Euripedes that said in 406 B.C., “Without wine, there is no joy!” He uses that as the Krewe’s motto.

While Patrick is the perpetual King, a new Queen is crowned each year and the Grand Marshall represents a vintner. If you can’t make it to New Orleans for the Krewe of Cork parade, you can find him at his namesake bar, Patrick’s Bar Vin, located adjacent to Hotel Mazarin.

As this is a special year for the Krewe, all former Queens will reign and Charles Smith of Charles Smith Wines will serve as this year’s Grand Marshal. The parade will take place on February 14 at 3pm. We sat down with Patrick to learn more about the Krewe of Cork.

How did you get the idea for the Krewe of Cork?

In 2000, we started out as a casual wine tasting group that gathered the first Friday of each month for lunch. We called it T.G.C.D. – that stands for Thank Goodness it’s Cork Day – a tradition we still keep to this day! Two years later, we decided to take it the street and parade as an official Carnival organization – the Krewe of Cork!

You’re celebrating twenty years since founding Krewe of Cork. What makes it so special?

The Krewe’s philosophy is wine, food and fun. Our members enjoy wine and having a good time. The Krewe does not discriminate whether you are a novice or an oenophile; Corkians have a special camaraderie over their shared appreciation of wine. Since we are celebrating 20 years this year, we will have all the past Queens return!

What can people expect from a Krewe of Cork parade?

You can expect to see hundreds of jolly members marching and dancing to the tune of a brass band in their creative wine-themed costumes handing out special Krewe of Cork beads. The Wine Police is on hand to “protect and serve” to ensure that no glass is left unattended. The fact that we are a marching parade in the French Quarter, lets us interact with spectators unlike float parades.

What does parade day look like for you as King?

I’m in heaven on parade day! My day begins with a Bloody Mary block party in front of the Court of Two Sisters, followed by a “sparkling lunch” where the Champagne flows in the courtyard. At 3pm, we parade and make special stops along the one mile route, including at my bar, Patrick’s Bar Vin. When the parade ends, we continue the celebration at our Libations Ball.

Does the Krewe parade any other time of the year?

We do! In addition to the parade we do each year 11 days before Mardi Gras day, we parade during the Royal Street Stroll during the New Orleans Food & Wine Experience (NOWFE). This year, the parade will take place on March 19.

How can someone become a member?

We have over 400 members from all over the country and world so anyone can join as long as they are over 21 and enjoy wine! While we sold out this year, membership typically includes a meet and greet party the day before the Krewe of Cork parade, all the festivities on parade day including the Bloody Mary street party, Champagne luncheon, the Libations Ball, Krewe of Cork beads, a pin and custom wine goblet as well as the Royal Street Stroll parade and party during NOWFE.

Krewe of Cork Parade Route

  • START: 613 Royal St.
  • Proceed down Royal St.
  • Right on Bienville St.
  • Right on Bourbon St.
  • Right on St. Ann St.
  • Right on Chartres St.
  • Right on St. Peter St.
  • Left on Royal St.
  • Right on Conti St.
  • END: 300 Bourbon St.
Krewe of Cork Parade Route