Posts tagged Chewbacchus
Here comes NOLAier Than Thou, the Krewe of Chewbaccus own shoebox parade at 7 pm on May 4 2016 in the Bywater/Marigny, the stomping grounds of New Orleans only annual shoebox parade, ‘tit Rex. Generally speaking, copying the schickt of another Mardi Gras parading krewe in your own parade, in their own backyard, is verboten. It’s seriously messing with the juju of a parade, their raison d’etre.
No one else throws decorated coconuts, purses, or shoes during the entire New Orleans Mardi Gras parading season besides the originating krewes. That’s the worst thing a krewe can do to another, so it’s throw down time.
Why is the miniaturized parade scheduled for May 4? It’s an obvious Star Wars pun, may the fourth be with you. Chewbaccus refers to their parade as Shoeboxus, another pun on their idol, Chewbacca, a major hero from the Star Wars saga.
You have to hand it to Chewbacchus, they are hitting back hard the only way they know how, parade-style.
For decades, New Orleans school children have made shoebox floats for miniature parades.
Chewbacchus Captain Ryan Ballard admits that the idea for Chewbacchus’ shoebox parade hatched during a social media feud with ‘tit Rex. Their route has shifted. It now begins and ends at the Faubourg Marigny location of Dat Dog sausage restaurant, and Chewbacchus’ brand new Temple of the Sacred Wookie in the upstairs dining area.
Dat Dog as graciously agreed to donate a portion of sales during the Chewbacchus parade to the STOMP troopers, a program that assists children afflicted with autism to march in their Mardi Gras parade annually. This is an excellent benefit combined with a parade. What could be better than that in the City That Care Forgot, New Orleans?
We truly live in the age of the democratization of Mardi Gras krewes. No longer do you have to spend a thousand dollars or much more to participate in a Mardi Gras parade (Bacchus, Endymion, Muses). The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus charges around $40 to join. My own Krewe du Vieux is around $125. This is really a fantastic development, and it opens up the thrill of belonging to a krewe to so many more New Orleanians and regional folks.
Many of these alternative krewes cost nothing to join. If you show up in costume with a musical instrument while the Krewe of Kosmic Debris is rolling, you are in. If you have a fantastic costume, the Societe de Saint Anne will welcome you.
The Mystic Krewe of Barkus is another inexpensive krewe, and it’s unique- You need a dog to participate. Barkus is a lot of fun- New Orleans is a very doggy city, and we really do get attached to our four legged friends.
Regular krewes hire float builders to build their parades. Alternative krewes generally build their floats themselves, and over time may become very good at their efforts.
Many alternative krewes consist of sub-krewes. I belong to the Krewe du Vieux, and my sub krewe is the Krewe of Underwear. Other KdV sub-krewes- Comatose, Drips and Discharges, and Seeds of Decline.
The Krewe of Cork has grown into a very substantial entity. Founded in 2000, the KoC has grown into a world-famous Mardi Gras and wine industry phenomenon. Krewe members gather on selected Fridays, usually the first Friday of each month, at restaurants throughout the area for T.G.I.C.D. (Thank Goodness It’s Cork Day).
The krewe’s two main events of the year are its Mardi Gras parade day festivities, and participation in the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience Royal Street Stroll. Throughout the year, the Krewe of Cork invites members to wine dinners and other special occasions, such as road trips and wine tastings.
Then there’s Better Than Ezra’s Krewe of Rocckus. Begun in 2011, Rocckus was formed to allow BTE’s fan base a way to celebrate Carnival with the band. Rocckus includes concerts, a brunch, second line parade, private parade viewing and a cruise on the Creole Queen.
Mardi Gras in New Orleans is under three weeks away! In the middle of all that, we are hosting the Super Bowl, featuring the Baltimore Ravens vs. the San Francisco 49ers. Mardi Gras will be taking a nine day vacation while we host Super Bowl XLVII in the venerable Super Dome!!
We are having an incredible month, with President Barack Obama’s second inauguration, MLK Day, plus the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras! Whew!! That’s a lot of huge events for any month in New Orleans. Of course, the President’s inauguration and MLK Day occur all over the USA, From New York to California and all points in between.
The 2013 Carnival season kicks off in high gear this weekend with lots of parades on the St. Charles Avenue route. Oshun, Cleopatra, Pontchartrain, Choctaw, Sparta, Pygmalion, Carrollton, and King Arthur all roll down the traditional route.
Can you guess how many parades from the list immediately above are older than 20 years old originated on St. Charles Avenue?
Uno Un One. Which one?
Sparta, which began in 1951. There are plenty of old neighborhood parades in that list. Can you guess them?
Cleopatra paraded for 39 years across the Mississippi River before changing to St. Charles for 2013.The New Orleans City Council voted on yesterday (January 24) allowing the ladies krewe from the west bank to move their parade to the traditional New Orleans uptown route. The Krewe of Cleopatra will kick off the Carnival Season on January 25, 2013, the first Friday of Mardi Gras.
Captain Dolores Kepner says,This is the perfect year for us to move our parade to the New Orleans uptown route. It opens up tremendous possibilities for the first weekend of Mardi Gras. We are honored to be a part of that.
Choctaw is parading down St. Charles for the first time in 2013, and has plans to return to their traditional parading grounds, the West Bank, in 2014. King Arthur (1977) also started on the West Bank. Pontchartrain began in the Lakeview area, marching on Hayne Boulevard by the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. Carrollton first paraded in their namesake neighborhood. Oshun and Pygmalion started on St. Charles, but they are newer parades.
That leaves only the Knights of Sparta as an historic procession originating on St. Charles. The Knights of Sparta are often mis-named the Krewe of Sparta!
There are two non-conformist parades out in the Faubourg Marigny over this weekend- ‘tit Rәx, and Chewbacchus, and both roll Saturday in the Marigny. ‘Tit Rәx used to be named ‘tit Rex, until the King of Carnival, the Monarch of Merriment, sued tiny little ‘tit Rex for stealing their name! As can be seen from the photo below, ‘tit Rәx is a miniature hand made float procession, not a full sized parade like Rex. I don’t think Rex made the proper decision, but tit ‘Rәx’s solution to turn the ‘e’ in Rex into a ‘schwa’ which is what a ‘ә‘ is.
Chewbacchus is a science fiction kind of krewe which features costumes and hand pulled floats in the Star Wars tradition.
Update! Endymion will be foregoing the Canal Street loop because of inclement weather.
The threat of heavy rain and thunderstorms on Saturday evening has forced NOMTOC, Tucks and Iris to switch days to Sunday and Monday. Endymion and Chewbacchus are still planning to roll today. Depending on how the weather fares this afternoon, Endymion could switch to Sunday night, following Bacchus.
As it stands now, NOMTOC and Iris will roll before Okeanos early tomorrow morning, and Tucks will roll before Proteus on Monday at 3 pm, followed by Orpheus.
Endymion has announced they plan to roll at 5:30 pm today on their traditional Canal Street route.
What all this means is you can have one hell of a time from the inside of Mardi Gras krewe for not too many shekels. That’s real democracy in action!
Back in the day, krewes were both exclusive and costly. A super krewe such as Bacchus, Orpheus, and Endymion cost a small fortune, just for the throws. Is it more enjoyable to ride with a big, expensive krewe? I think not, since I have ridden with Tucks several times and with KdV more than that.
All krewes are fun, and there are all kinds of krewes. Depending on your budget, there’s a lot of fun to be had. In my opinion, it’s a lot of fun to experience Carnival from a spectator’s vantage point, but it’s even more fun to ride or walk with your own krewe.