After years of living in the Deep South, I finally made the trip down to New Orleans this past February to celebrate Mardi Gras. I had never been before and thought it might be a fun way to kick off my fortieth year on Planet Earth (It was).
One of the biggest surprises for me was discovering how much Star Wars stuff was in the parades. Several floats featured characters from the saga, but none of the “krewes” (the members-only social clubs that build the floats, put on balls and do other fun stuff) were able to outdo the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus: A group of Star Wars fans who celebrate the saga in style every Mardi Gras. Their motto: “Saving the Galaxy… One Drunken Nerd at a Time.” (Check out an article about the founder at Wired.com)
While the parades don’t officially kick off until mid-February, for most krewes preparation begins well in advance with parties and other fundraising activities. Floats aren’t free, and when you add paying for fees, gasoline, trinkets to throw out and costumes, you can see where things start to get pretty expensive.
Anyway, some of our New Orleans readers might be interested to hear that the The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus is starting the parade season tomorrow with an art bicycle rally and contraption contrast. The fun begins at the Den of Muses (42 Architects Street, New Orleans, Louisiana) at 2 PM and runs until 6 PM. Food, carnival games and music will be on hand, and the contest is open to anyone who wants to participate. The entry fee only is $10, and the winner receives $210 and a five-person group membership in the krewe. Participants can then join the krewe in a fun ride, ending at 8 PM the Frenchman Street Art Market. Finally, the day wraps up with a CD release party from 8pm to 2am at Maison, 508 Frenchmen St., 70116. CD release party? Yep, apparently some of the city’s “nerdiest” musicians have come together for a compilation album celebrating all things “Chewbacchus”!
I’ve got plans tomorrow and can’t make the drive down to the city, but if you’re a New Orleans resident and Star Wars fan, it sounds like this could be a great, great day. If you’re going, be sure to tell “BAR2D2″ hello for me, and maybe grab some pictures to share with the rest of us! (Pretty please?)