Can anyone join a Krewe?
In theory, anyone can join a Krewe; however, it's important to pick the right one! You want to find one that matches your interests and expectations. The Krewes all have their own unique Krewe culture, behavioral guidelines and philanthropic efforts. Additionally, some Krewes have membership restrictions e.g., only men or only women. You also want to find one that's based in an area you're willing to travel to, since many events will be held in that area.
How many members does YMKN have? What are they like?
Ye Mystic Krewe of the Nautilus (YMKN) is a medium-sized Krewe (65-85 members on average) - big enough to have a fun group of diverse people, but small enough that members actually know each other and there's room to move around on the float during parades.
Our members come from all walks of life and a wide age range. When YMKN considers a potential member, we're not looking for a "type", but we are selective about who we accept. We want someone who fits with our Krewe culture and will be dedicated to our mission of philanthropy and conservation. This is for the prospective member's benefit as well as our own.
YMKN is a co-ed Krewe and offers both individual and couple/family memberships. Currently, our membership is about evenly split between the two types. Most of our members live in the city of Tampa or its nearby suburbs, although we do have members that live as far away as Orlando.
YMKN does not discriminate on any basis, although you do have to be at least 21 years old because we have a bar on the float.
We also don't restrict our membership to any particular group - all are welcome!
When was the Krewe founded?
YMKN was founded in 2003, making us one of the longer established Krewes in Tampa Bay.
Which parades does YMKN participate in?
Typically, YMKN participates in four (4) parades each season - The Gasparilla Children's Parade, The Gasparilla Parade of Pirates (that's the big daytime parade on Bayshore), The Knights of Sant' Yago Knight Parade (that's the night parade held in Ybor City in mid-February) and the St. Patrick's Day Parade. The Gasparilla Children's Parade is the only parade where we allow guests under 21 years of age (no alcohol is permitted on board the float during the parade).
What does the float look like? What amenities are onboard?
Our float is quite distinctive. YMKN is modeled after the Jules Verne novel "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" so our float looks like an old time submarine with a huge squid wrapped around it.
Our float features two decks (most people stay up top for parades), two restrooms (with flushing toilets, not port-a-potties!) and a bar. We recently upgraded our speaker system and lighting to LEDs, so the float really rocks and lights up the night now!
Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are provided free of charge to members and parade guests during parades. Lunch and snacks are available (a nominal fee may apply) during the Gasparilla Parade of Pirates Day Parade, and during the Gasparilla Children's Parade.
What do the costumes look like?
YMKN is modeled after the Jules Verne novel "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea". Our costumes pay homage to the fashions of that era but with a modern twist.
The gold skirt of the female costume is the only custom item we require, and we have several local seamstresses who can make it. All other costume elements can be easily purchased online or in local costume shops.
All members are required to wear the Krewe costume during parades. If you ride with us as a parade guest, the costume requirements are similar, with the exception that women can wear black pants instead of the gold skirt.
What charities does YMKN work with?
Our philanthropic partner is The 1 Voice Foundation, a charity dedicated to family support services and research for pediatric cancer. See our Philanthropy page for more information.
Our conservation partners are Keeping Tampa Bay Beautiful and Tampa Bay Watch. See our Conservation pages for more information.
What kinds of memberships does YMKN offer?
YMKN offers two different types of memberships - a full membership and a limited introductory membership.
The limited introductory membership is only available to those referred by a YMKN full member willing to sponsor them. The main differences from the full membership are cost, how many/which parades the member can participate in and the volunteer service requirement. Additionally, we only offer a limited number of these per year. If you are interested in an introductory membership, please contact the YMKN full krewe member who referred you for more details.
All of the information listed below is specific to the full membership.
How do I apply to be a full member?
Step 1: Attend a minimum of two (2) YMKN-sponsored events. Socials and volunteer events (see our Events page) are the best choice because they allow time to chat with our members and see what we're all about. Let us know you're coming by registering for the event or emailing our Membership Director, especially if you don't already know a member! We'll make sure to have a board member greet you upon arrival.
Step 2: Once you've attended your two events and decided YMKN is the right Krewe for you, you'll need to get a current member to sponsor you. It's OK if you don't already know a member. Most of our regular and board members have been in the Krewe for several years and are good at pinpointing someone who would be a good fit. Find that someone you seem to click with and give them the opportunity to get comfortable with you - chances are they'll offer to sponsor you before you even have to ask!
Step 3: Submit an application.
What are the benefits of joining as a full member?
Well, to start with, you get an awesome group of people to hang out with! On top of that, you get to participate in four (4) parades, a variety of social and volunteer events, and our annual NautiBall - a celebration of all things YMKN!
How much does it cost to join as a full member?
There are three costs associated with joining YMKN - an application fee, an initiation fee and annual dues.
New members under 35 years of age when they join YMKN receive a $50 discount towards an individual membership or $100 discount towards a couple/family membership for the first two (2) years of membership.
What are membership fees used for?
Our membership fees cover YMKN operating expenses and parade costs. Operating expenses include but are not limited to general liability insurance, float expenses (storage, maintenance and repairs/upgrades), membership in the InterKrewe Council, miscellaneous expenses like web site and email hosting, and food and beverage costs during parades (food provided for the Children's and Day parade only).
What are the volunteer requirements? What sort of volunteer events does the Krewe host?
YMKN requires its members to donate 15 hours each year in service to the Krewe and/or its charitable partners. In the event a member can not contribute the required 15 hours of time, they are charged $10/hour for any incomplete service hours.
We host a variety of volunteer opportunities, so completing 15 hours is usually not a challenge. Because most of our members work a standard Monday-Friday schedule, we tend to offer most events on the weekends. Events associated with our charity partners usually run 4-6 hours but have some flexibility if someone can't stay the whole time. Members can also provide service to the Krewe, either as a board member, committee member or by working on the float. These opportunities typically provide 1-3 hours of service per occurrence, so are more manageable for our members with child/parent care responsibilities or busy work schedules.
See our Events listing to get a feel for the kinds of events we host.
How is the Krewe run?
The day-to-day management of YMKN (all the boring stuff) is handled by its Board of Directors; however, the Board often reaches out for member feedback on anything that would impact Krewe life in a significant way.