Posted By Will Coviello for the Gambit
Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 10:46 AM
New Orleans' smallest parade may not have had many tiny hands clapping. The krewe of ”tit Rex chose a theme about taking a nap, but many floats depicted nightmares, many of them featuring President Donald Trump. In one dark vision, Lady Liberty slept with her head in an oven. In another, titled "Tyrant-asaurus Wrex," an orange dinosaur stood atop the White House next to a massive crane with a swinging wrecking ball. The float creators distributed as throws: free tickets to the future, tiny flags and orange golf balls with a yell mop of hair combed over the top.
'tit Rex, New Orleans' tiniest Mardi Gras parade, which rolls on Saturday (Feb. 18) at 5 in the Marigny, is trouble. For openers, how are you supposed to start a sentence, or a whole story for that matter, with an apostrophe? That's just the beginning.
'tit Rex floats are modeled on the shoe box floats that New Orleans school kids used to make, and sometimes still do. 'tit Rex floats might be little and cute, but they have smart, adult, sometimes gnarly themes.
'tit Rex was founded by a bunch of artist-types in 2009, in part as a tongue-in-cheek taunt to the big, bland superkrewes that seemed to dominate Mardi Gras at the moment. Small was subversive.
Steve Walkup fixes the lights inside a 'tit Rex float at Bywater Bakery.
The parade rolls through the Bywater and Marigny neighborhoods Saturday
By Chris Bynum | Special to The Advocate FEB 15, 2017 – 2:00 PM
In the Carnival season of supersized floats, a trio of revelers gathers inside a Bywater corner store, closed for the evening, to build a float using tiny parts and big imaginations.
When their mission is complete, they will roll out their finished parade-ready project like a child pulling a little red wagon.
“I was charmed by this parade the first time I saw it from the sidelines,” said Karen Crain, now a team captain, in the Krewe of ‘tit Rex (pronounced “T” Rex).
The shoebox-sized floats of 'tit Rex — ‘tit is short for the French petit or petite — offer sharp contrast to Carnival's many grandiose events on wheels that require spectators stand on tiptoe, jump to catch throws in mid-air or climb ladders to get closer. At this lone micro-parade, you look down, not up. Crouching, kneeling or leaning over are required for viewing.
‘Tit Rex, now in its ninth year, limits floats to 28. The number of spectators may be growing, but the compact concept of the event is intact.
“We easily spend a good month to six weeks on the float and the throws. Each one of us contributes at least 60 hours. It can be very intense closer to parade,” said Crain, an art consultant who joined the krewe in 2010.