In 1904 George W. Hardee, a native of New Orleans and participant in the Mardi gras celebrations there, worked for the Federal Government in Tampa. Upon his urging the society editor of the Tampa Tribune began promoting a Mardi gras style celebration based upon the pirate Jose Gaspar. Mr. Hardee became the first Captain of “Ye Krewe of Gasparilla”. He later moved to Jacksonville. In 1923 he was involved in convincing the Chamber of Commerce to start a Mardi gras style celebration called the April Follies. Adopting a slogan of “Be Yourself”, Jacksonville did so in grand style as thousands crowded the downtown area for the longest parade in history. One of the many private social organizations involved was the “Jesters”, a group of gentlemen whose membership was limited to 53, representing a deck of cards plus the “joker”. (Naturally, George Hardee was a charter member and later became the 6th Revellers King). After taking part in the opening day parade, the group assembled at the Armory for the Coronation Ball, the theme being “A Deck of Cards”. During the following year the organization was renamed “Ye Mystic Revellers” because another local group was also known as the Jesters. After the bubble of the Florida Boom burst, the April follies were abandoned. However, the Revellers continued, expanding its membership and adopting a Friday before Ash Wednesday as the date for the annual Coronation Ball. Ye Mystic Revellers continue this storied tradition to this day serving as Jacksonville’s oldest Mardi gras celebration where we encourage everyone to just “Soyez vous-meme” or “Be yourself”.