In 1857, Comus appeared. Six men formed a secret group and invited thirteen others to join. The official name was The Mistick Krewe of Comus. An oath was taken by each member owing to identity secrecy. Costumes were obtained from a Mobile theatre and names were secretly selected for invitations.

On February 24, 1857, the first Comus parade appeared. Krewe members donned costumes at their picture of Comus bookden and formed a line to march at 8:00 pm. Torchlights were used and set ablaze. Bands played music and Comus (his Satanic Majesty) rode atop a float. Krewe members followed on foot. Ball theme: The Demon Actors in Milton's Paradise Lost

In 1858, Comus put on its first parade. Thirty members presented its Mystick Krewe parade, which established a tradition. An exquisite ball followed with general dancing. Ball theme: Mythology

In 1859, Comus experienced difficulty. No parade. This happened again in 1943. Ball theme: The English Holidays

In 1860, Comus presented floats, maskers and a ball with an orchestra of 100 musicians. Ball theme: History of America

1861 saw Comus parading as a torchlight procession with all members of the Krewe walking. Ball theme: The Four Ages of Life

During the Civil War years, 1861-5 there was no Comus.

In 1866, one float supported Comus. Maskers followed with each holding a golden goblet, the insignia of Comus. A tableau ball followed. Ball theme: The Past, The Present, The Future

1867's parade was composed of maskers afoot. Ball theme: The Feast of Epicurus

1868 - Maskers were on horseback in Oriental costumes. Half the horses were white, half black. Ball theme: The Departure of Lalla Rookh from Delhi

1869 - six floats with mounted and marching maskers. The tableau ball was held at the New Opera House. Ball theme: The Five Senses

1870 - Metropolitan police ordered each group of maskers as well as each parade to have one person unmasked, except Comus. Ball theme: The History of Louisiana

1871 - Ball theme: Spenser's Faerie Queen

1872 - Grand Duke Alexis of Russia occupies a special box at the ball. Ball theme: Dreams of Homer

1873 - Marching characters making fun of Darwinina theory and prominent carpetbaggers. First parade to be designed and constructed in New Orleans. Earlier floats were ordered, in parts, from France. Ball theme: The Missing Links to Darwin's Origin of the Species

1874 - Ball theme: Comus' Greeting to the Nations

1875 - No ball due to conditions preceding the overthrow of carpetbag rule

1876 - Ball theme: Four Thousand Years of Sacred History

1877 - Ball theme: The Aryan Race

1878 - Ball theme: The Metamorphoses of Ovid,

1879 - No Comus due to yellow fever outbreak.

1880 through 1882 - Parades were similar to earlier ones. First formal visit of Rex occurred in 1882. Queen of Comus established. Ball theme of 1880: The Aztecs and Their Conquest of Cortez

1881 - Ball theme: The Myths of Nordland

1882 - Ball theme: The World's Worships

1883 - No Comus

1884 - Krewe's first court introduced. Ladies in beautiful gowns filled the French Opera House. President Jefferson Davis, General A. D. Hill and daughters were present. Daughters of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were also present. After the tableau, Comus called out Mildred Lee as his partner. King and Queen dance. Lee decreed first Comus Queen. Daughters, the first Maids of Honor. Ball theme: The History of Ireland

1890 - After five years of absence, Comus returned. Comus and Proteus who both claimed Mardi Gras night, rolled towards Canal Street. Proteus arrived first. Proteus attempted to sever the Comus tradition when the Comus leader galloped to the side of the Proteus mountain captain and became a confrontation ensued. Katherine Buckner was the Queen. Ball theme: Palin-Genesis of the Mystick Krewe

1891 - Ball theme: Demonotology

1892 - As Proteus presented its display on Monday night, Comus resumed its Mardi Gras night celebration. Lively maskers in Oriental robes greeted the Queen, Winnie Davis. Japanese costumes were presented for the entire court, as well as Royal jewels. Ball theme: Nippon, the Land of the Rising Sun

1893 - Carthaginian characters paraded before Queen Josephine Maginnis, who the year before, was a maid. Ball theme: Salammbo

1894 - Ball theme: Once Upon a Theme

1895 - Ball theme: The Songs of Long Ago

1896 - Ball theme: The Seasons

1897 - Ball theme: Homer's Odyssey

1898 - Isabel Hardie was the Queen. Ball theme: Scenes from Shakespeare

1899 - Low temperatures saw the parade make it through snow and ice. Ball theme: Josephus

1900 - Japanese Ambassador, Wu Ting Fang, and members of his suite, attended the ball. Ball theme: The Golden Age

1901 - Ball theme: Selections from the Operas

1902 - Ball theme: The Fairy Kingdom

1903 - Special guests were Admiral Winfield Scott Schley, General Joe Wheeler, and Alice Roosevelt, daughter of the President. Ball theme: Mahabharata

1904 - Ball theme: Izdubar

1905 - Ball theme: The Lost Pleiad

1906 - Heavy rain ruined the parade which crossed Canal Street and then Royal Street. Krewe of Momus lent them borrow dry costumes. Ball theme: The Masque of Comus

1907 - Ball theme: Tennyson

1908 - Ball theme: Gods and Goddesses

1909 - Ball theme: Flights of Fancy

1910 - Ball theme: Ma-Homet

1911 - Ball theme: Familiar Quotations

1912 - A wind storm struck the parade and damaged the floats. Ball theme: Tales from Cathay

1913 - Ball theme: Time's Mysteries

1914 - Ball theme: Tales from Chaucer

1915 - Ball theme: Lore and Legends of Childhood

1916 - Ball theme: Glimpses of the Modern World of Art

1917 - Dormant through World War I. Ball theme: Romantic Legends

1918 through 1923 - Dormant due to burning of the French Opera House.

1924 - Fanciful parade and tableau ball at the Orpheum Theatre. The Queen was Virginia Claiborne. Ball theme: The God of Myrth Greets Ye Once Again

1925 - Ball theme: The Realms of Fantasy

1926 - Ball theme: The Gardens of Cashmere

1927 - Ball theme: Arabesques

1928 - Ball theme: Travels of Marco Polo

1929 - Ball theme: Gleanings of the Past

1930 - Comus ball moved to the Municipal Auditorium after six years at the Orpheum Theatre. Ball theme: The Legend of Faust

1931 - Diamond Jubilee celebration included a sparkling pageant and a lustrous ball. Adele Townsend Jahncke was the queen. The Krewe favor was a silver goblet. Ball theme: Jewels from Byron

1932 - Ball theme: Fairyland of Flowers

1933 - Ball theme: Featured Fantasies

1934 - Ball theme: The Realm of Nepture

1935 - Ball theme: Insect Life

1936 - Ball theme: The Beautiful

1937 - Ball theme: From Nature's Paint Pot

1938 - Ball theme: Comus Visits the States

1939 - Ball theme: Animals of Fact and Fable

1940 - Parade caught up in downpour. Police and leading band went the wrong way, down Royal Street. Captain and Lieutenants led the parade over the Circuit of Canal Street and then to the Auditorium. Ball theme: Picturesque Passages from the Poets

1941 - No parade after notice is issued due to war. Ball theme: Nature's Moods

1942 through 1945 - No Comus

1946 - Comus returns. Ball theme: Famous Gifts of Facts and Fancy

1947 - Ball theme: Quests of History and Legend

1948 - Ball theme: Medley of Childhood Memories

1949 - Ball theme: Familiar Facts and Fancies

1950 - Comus cancels parade for 1951 after President issues national emergency declaration. Balltheme (1950): Priceless Products

1952 - King reported to be a former famous King of the Carnival. The Queen was Grace Parker. Ball theme: Bible Stories We All Know

1953 - Ball theme: The States of the Louisiana Purchase

1954 - Ball theme: The Garland of Comus

1955 - Ball theme: Our Latin American Neighbors

1956 - Ball theme: Our Early Contemporaries

home | history