Mini Mardi Gras: New Orleans’ Only Petit Parade

'tit Rex Mardi Gras float New Orleans



The "Angry Mermaid" float from 'tit Rex's 2011 parade. (Photo courtesy of




During Carnival weekend, super krewes roam the streets of Uptown and Mid-City. But this Saturday, the Krewe of ‘tit Rex, which rolls through the Bywater and Marigny, makes the case that smaller can actually be better. Dubbed New Orleans’ only micro krewe, ‘tit Rex’s floats are miniature jewels, every bit as detailed and playful as their grander cousins.

For folks who grew up in New Orleans, these mini floats are a nod to the familiar childhood practice of transforming a shoe box into a float by decorating it with toys and leftover beads from Mardi Gras past. If you made it alone at home, it was a bit forlorn, but float construction was usually done at school and the Friday before Mardi Gras, you and your classmates would pull your creations around the school, making your very own parade.

‘Tit Rex float builders take this childhood experience a step further, decorating their floats with LED lights, dry ice smoke and the occasional mechanical moving part. The krewe’s name conjures up several allusions. The most obvious is phonetic, that of the dinosaur T-Rex. But the spelling that the krewe uses, “tit Rex” is also a nod to the southern Louisiana practice of referring to a younger son with the diminutive “petit,” so instead of calling him “Bob Jr.” he is “Petit Bob” or “tit Bob.”