By Todd Schrenk, with Jeremy Yuslum …extant founders of ‘tit Rəx
The world’s first Mardi Gras microkrewe, ‘tit Rəx was founded in 2008 by a group of artists, teachers, businesspeople, workers, and bon vivants. Some say it took place in a kitchen, others on a porch in Mid-City, while still others just can't remember anything from that night.
Inspired by Bacchus, the father of all super krewes, the creators of ‘tit Rəx asked: in an age when super krewes are setting the bar for larger and larger spectacles, when route consolidation has resulted in epic evenings of parade upon parade, when the size and velocity of throws has become at times physically hazardous to the recipients, could New Orleans not benefit from one krewe that takes the opposite approach?
The parade’s name is based on the Cajun diminutive, an abbreviation of petite, used as a prefix before the name of the smaller or younger of two people who share a first name. ‘tit Jean, Tee Jean, Ti Jean, or T-Jean – casual research revealed inconsistent spellings – would translate to “little John.” Thus, ‘tit Rex: Cajun wordplay on one of Carnival’s hoariest parades. The name also suggests an ironic comparison to the king of dinosaurs, the giant Tyrannosaurus Rex. Any connection to the glam-rock band T-Rex is purely coincidental.
Taking their cue from the generations-old, grade-school tradition of decorating shoeboxes to look like Mardi Gras floats, ‘tit Rəx members use shoeboxes as the foundation of their floats. Some of the floats from parades past are here on display.
The Krewe draws its members from many different areas, social circles, disciplines, back alleys and haunts (both the usual and the unusual). Although not 'exclusive' we do have an 11 year waiting list to join, which surprised even us! But seriously, the parade is capped at 28 floats, the size of a large krewe's roll. Each float has a 'float-master', usually the maker, and can have up to 2 'riders'. This not only keeps the body of the parade manageable on the street, but also keeps the scope and scale within the 'micro' realm we are striving for. In the end, the parade is about the floats and the theme, not the people pulling them. Want to get involved? Come out to the parade! It's not unsual to see 'tit-sized displays set up along the route by on-lookers! Party with us afterward at the Ping Pong Ball. Get to know us and something may turn up. Who knows, you may be invited as a Guest Rider next year?!
That has its own story… read all about it here.
"Mardi Gras politics are so vicious precisely because the stakes are so small." – Henry Kissinger, or maybe not.
Don't you think there are already too many messiah complexes out there?
Our Current Board & Officers
Caesar Meadows – President
Trish Nugent – Secretary
Janine Hayes – Treasurer
Board Members & Founders
Brett Evans, Jeremy Yuslum, Jeannie Detweiler, Rob Cambre, Cissy Burson, Micha Melancon, Jonathan Traviesa, Nancy Dixon, Bill Lavender, Todd Schrenk, Matthew Schrenk and Annie Hackman-Schrenk
The floats take many shapes and sizes, but all must start with one thing: a shoe box as its base.
Over the years the krewe members have discovered many tiny tricks for lighting, decoration, mobility, etc. That's all part of the creative process, and we love it! Beginning in late November/December of each year 'Tiny Throws' meetings are held every two weeks to enable the krewe members to not only get together and SEE one another, but also share ideas, see each other's throws for that upcoming year, debate/discuss and otherwise chew-threw ideas, designs, brilliant strategies and each other's liquor and wine cabinets.
Why the Formal Wear and Sashes?
It was decided all those years ago that in order to keep the focus on what really matters (the floats) we would all only dress in black tie (or attempt to). The parade isn't about how whacky our outfits are, or how 'totally awesome' our new jumpsuit filled with weasels is… it's about our tiny creations. So we dress accordingly, and let's face it, who doesn't like to don a tux or an eveninig gown? Especially when pulling a 13" shoebox float through the pothole infested streets of the Marigny & Bywater? And oh yeah, there are the sashes – we do want to all look like we're together, so we wear those too.
This Year's ( and probably next year's too ) Route:
We start just outside St. Roch Tavern, one block up from St. Claude, then march to St. Claude, make a left and proceed down the grand boulevard to Music St, where we hang a right and strut to Franklin…continuing on Franklin to Royal (with a stop or two at Lost Love Lounge, Cutters & Mimi's). There we take a break for about 1/2 hour, give or take a few then continue on Royal to Mandeville, hang a right and roll to Burgundy, where we take a hard left, then a quick right up Marigny (yes, we know we're marching the WRONG WAY, that's what police are for) finally creeping up behind the Allways Lounge which is our final destination!
The 'tit Rəx Ping Pong Ball (including Gallier Small) will be held at The Allways Lounge after the parade. (Just $10 for admission) Below is our current route, and yes we will roll with this in 2016 too.
This year's theme is "No Big Deal" – and hopefully there will be no major issues/problems/setbacks for our roll. But if there are… you guessed it, it will be no big deal, we'll still parade our little hearts out.