Chewbacchus rolls on its traditional route; huge turnout of parade-goers

Published: Jan. 28, 2023 at 8:50 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Thousands of people turned out in the Marigny and the French Quarter to pay tribute to a parade honoring that big furry animal from Star Wars. The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus is back to full strength.

Drew Barry from Shreveport heads up a parade that celebrates the Wookie, where dozens of marchers work hard to create their own costumes which stay true to the Star Wars theme, like the Ewoks.

The 13th edition of the crew of Chewbacchus features princess Leia, the brainiacs, and the space vikings, all thrilled to be back at full strength.

“Oh, it’s great it was too short last year. Yes, it was very short. We are glad it’s back,” said Krewe member Sarah Post.

This is one of the easier krewes to participate in; Jae Clark signed up online a few weeks ago.

“We are Tulane students and we’ve done a few Mardi Gras’ and we’re excited to be part of the community. It’s awesome. We got so lucky with the weather; the sunset was gorgeous. It’s been a great day,” said Clark.

Chewbacchus is a relatively new krewe.

“It’s artistic and creative and goes on forever,” said Mardi Gras Guide Publisher Arthur Hardy.

Last year, due to police shortages, the route was cut in half to just 1 mile long, but now it’s up to 2 miles, giving parade participants and eager crowds twice as many chances to catch signature throws.

The Star Wars-themed parade slogan this year is ‘Let the Wookie win.’ but businesses along the expanded route say they may be the real victors.

MORE: Krewe of Chewbacchus returns with new parade route for 2023

As the city brings in police from other jurisdictions, this one is manned by local law enforcement, but there are still concerns about crime, and car break-ins, causing many krewe members to uber instead of leaving their car somewhere.

The payback is evident; for one of the carnival’s largest parades, spirits soared high for Chewbacchus.

And the party continued after the parade; hundreds went to the Fillmore for the parade ball, called the ‘Chewbacchanal’, to party well into the wee hours of Sunday morning.

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