Crewe of De Soto

History comes to life when our modern-day Conquistadors make an educational visit. The Crewe of De Soto, led by Don Hernando de Soto and his Queen, will participate in over 100 appearances each year.

2328 miles traveled by the 2014-15 Crewe

491 hours representing the Society

14 educational visits

10000+ beads distributed

18 parades attended by the 2014-15 Crewe

76 years of tradition

Educational Visits read more

The Crewe is the most visible arm of the Hernando de Soto Historical Society along with the one member per year who gets to don the helmet and dress of Hernando de Soto. Perhaps the most important educational tools the Society offers are the visits to local schools, hospitals, senior citizen homes, civic organizations and businesses.

Living Legacy read more

Dressed in authentic 16th century Spanish attire, complete with chrome plated Morion helmets and plumes, full-width leather belts and corsair swords in scabbards at their sides, history lessons come to life when Hernando de Soto and his Crewe speak about the importance of our heritage.

Crewe Leadership read more

While the Crewe of Hernando De Soto and the De Soto Queen and Princess are elected by the Society membership, each year’s Hernando de Soto appoints the Crewe Captain. Together, the Captain and Hernando de Soto appoint two Lieutenants and the Crewe is ready for action.

Around the World

Hernando de Soto, the Captain of the Crewe, their ladies, and our De Soto Queen and Princess travel across the world representing our community. They introduce Manatee County as an area rich in cultural, historical, agricultural, and environmental diversity to the thousands of people they meet each year.

During the 2016 De Soto Heritage Festival, our Hernando de Soto, Zeke Eckersen, was invested and his Queen, Sarah Adams, was elected by the Society Membership. Joining this pair are Captain of the Crewe Bob Richardson and Princess Baylee Sawdy.

Our Festival family includes:

  • Fiesta in Barcarrota, Spain
  • Festival du Voyageur in Winnepeg, Canada
  • St. Paul Winter Carnival in St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Aquatennial in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Oktoberfest in La Crosse, Wisconsin
  • Fiesta of Five Flags in Pensacola, Florida
  • Billy Bowlegs Pirate Invasion in Fort Walton Beach, Florida
  • Springtime Tallahassee in Tallahassee, Florida

Request a Crewe Capture

The Crewe of De Soto brings fun and excitement when they "capture" your event. Captures are offered at no cost to charities or non-profits and to local businesses for a nominal donation.

Get Captured