POSTED Fri. Sep 20, 2013
Paul Oswell
Written by PAUL OSWELL

The creation of a major new event to a krewe’s Mardi Gras fundraising calendar is exciting, and the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus are hoping their inaugural Contraption Contest will be free of – and please indulge me or this opening paragraph will all be for nothing – any ‘wookie’ mistakes. Ahem.

With contrived puns out of our (Dagobah) systems (sorry), let’s set phasers to stun (nope. Not even Star Wars. Travesty) and approach the triple-breasted whore of Eroticon Six that is the IKoC’s Season Kickoff Extravaganza, taking place at various downtown venues this Saturday, 28th September.

If you’re unfamiliar, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galazy entry for IKoC would read something along the lines of “Mardi Gras parade organisation for Star Wars freaks, Trekkies, Whovians, gamers, cosplayers, UFO conspiracy nuts and fans of everything from Harry Potter to Night of the Living Dead.” Over 500 fabulous nerds rolled last year, in an armada of home made craft that celebrate the best creative aspects of sci-fi and Mardi Gras.

It’s this aspect that the Extravaganza looks to celebrate, says Overlord Space Commander Chewbaccacabra, founder member of the IKoC. “We believe this is the first ever contraption contest in New Orleans,” he tells me. “We already have 50 to 60 vehicles in the parade, from mini floats to adapted trikes and bikes to golf carts and all manner of crazy conveyances.”

The idea is to open up to the public what Chewbacchus does really well: trick out rides in homage to everything from Battlestar Galactica to mythical beasts (though the latter must be subsumed into the sub-Krewe, People for the Inclusion of Unicorns, Elves and Whinebots in Chewbacchus, the PUEWC).

The contest (at the Den of Muses from 2pm-6pm, $10 entry) challenges newcomers to bring their geekiest articulated and mobile inventions, with Krewe memberships and all manner of attractive prizes from local businesses being dangled like space carrots from the end of a light sabre. Sponsors include PBR, NOLA Brewing, Bodyology, New Orleans Coffee Exchange and NOLA Social Ride.

“There are also joke prizes,” says Chewbaccacabra. “I’m going to give cans of black paint to the ugliest contraption so that they may start afresh. The loudest will get some ear plugs and a copy of our new CD and the most complicated will receive a huge jar of aspirin to attend to the headaches that must have accompanied its construction.”

After the victors have been awarded their prizes, those that wish can join what will surely be one of the most eclectic social bike rides ever down to Frenchmen Street Art Market. It’s at this free event that all manner of Krewe attendees will further display their legendary hospitailty, not least at the mobile robotic hostelry (a good name for your new future-retro synth band?) known as Bar2D2.

The revelry will continue apace as the party moves to Maison on Frenchmen, where the final chapter in the Extravaganza takes place from 8pm. The party here ($5 cover) celebrates the release of the debut Chewbacchus album. Yes, this Krewe have their own CD.

“We are friends with a lot of local musicians,” Chewbaccacabra says. “We thought it would be a good idea to get them to write and record original compositions about time travel, alien abductions and how awesome the organising Krewe committee members are. Happily some people took us up on the latter suggestion and those songs will definitely be on heavy rotation.”

Among the musical cosmonauts are heavyweight local tunesmiths including Rotary Downs, The Local Skank, COG and Some Metry Guy. MC Chewbacon will be providing tunes that hopefully stretch beyond the annoying space-earworm that is the theme tune from the cantina in Star Wars and the day-long mission will wind up around 2am.

If you’ve ever told anyone that you “just need some space”, then you’re unlikely to find space on such a scale as this anywhere else in NOLA. Find your fantasy niche at this hugely broad sci-fi church – finally those rocket-booster-powered unicorns have somewhere to hang out.


    Our Local Publisher Partners

    • The Arts Council of New Orleans
    • WWNO
    • WWOZ
    • PRC
    • NOMA
    • The Historic New Orleans Collection
    • Southern Food
    • Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.


    WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at


    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.


    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.


    As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.



    was added to your favorites.



    Share On Twitter Share On Facebook