Krewe of ’tit Rex co-founder Brett Evans says Carnival goers shouldn’t underestimate the power of small. The krewe, which first rolled in 2009, creates intricate shoebox floats that it pulls through the streets of Faubourg Marigny. The parade this year, on Sun. Feb. 17, includes 33 floats, four bands and a total of about 100 marchers.
The krewe started as a response to super krewes and the progressively larger floats in parades like Endymion. What ’tit Rex has over those groups, Evans says, is that shoebox float designs aren’t cluttered with people. (’tit Rex “riders” actually walk alongside the floats and toss throws.)
“Our miniature floats are like minis of the big parades, but there’s no riders and throwers in the way,” Evans says. “You can completely compose your scene as you want it, whether it’s a volcano or something else.”
A list of Carnival float parades and marching krewes in Orleans and Jefferson parishes in 2019.
’tit Rex offers an opportunity for people to participate in Mardi Gras in a way that harkens to childhood when New Orleans schoolchildren decorated shoeboxes to look like floats. “It was sort of a response to the super krewes … to Endymion and how gi-normous it had become,” Evans says, “but also, we all grew up making these floats and this is the grown-up version of that.”
To keep the tradition alive, a couple of ’tit Rex members visit Homer A. Plessy Community School each year to teach students about float-making and help the students construct their tiny floats.
“People just love miniatures in general, like dioramas and model trains and dollhouses, stuff like that,” he says. “If you grew up with [shoebox floats], you just have that thing, then people who completely didn’t grow up with it and just moved here five years ago, they can still enjoy the miniature rolling diorama aspect.”