By Nina Rollins
The 2019 Mardi Gras season is now on the record books, and it was a memorable one! Kicking off with parades earlier this year, New Orleans celebrated Chewbacchus on February 9th. This walking parade is a nerd extravaganza, showing off this year’s theme of Space Farce. From Star Wars to space vikings, this parade was a true experience for many walkers and crowds, showing the culture of New Orleans’ festival season.
Chewbacchus, from behind the scenes, is a great deal of work for the hundreds of members who join every year. With about 150 sub-krewes in the entire parade, a majority of them require costumes, props, and a moving contraption. These are built weeks before the parade is let loose. Hours of work are put to the test when a crew builds a contraption to roll down the parade route, such as the bike-pulled invisible jet, an engine-run spaceship, or a hand-pushed Harry Potter car.
Chewbacchus is said to be an experience like no other. When walking in the route, many members enjoy interacting with the crowds and the culture of New Orleans. Many of these members who walked in the parade were actually students and teachers who are part of the Lusher family.
Abby Buchholz, a part of the Space Pirate krewe, comments on her experience walking the parade for the first time. “Seeing the different costumes and creative pieces people made really exposed me to the culture of New Orleans and Mardi Gras itself,” she said. "Chewbacchus was something that connected people together, since we all had something in common, which was to celebrate what we love.”