Dat Dog, Intergalactic Krewe Of Chewbacchus To Host Shoeboxus On ‘May The Fourth,’ Support STOMP Troopers
The public shrine to the “Sacred Drunken Wookiee” at Dat Dog Frenchman, 601 Frenchmen St.
Alert all commands, and thank the Maker!
The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus (IKOC) will again present its Shoeboxus mini-parade with festivities starting and ending this year at Dat Dog Frenchmen, 601 Frenchmen St., the host of the official post-parade party.
The “May The Fourth Be With You” parade will take place on, you guessed it, Thursday, May 4.
During parade day, from 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m., $1 from every Wookiee Wiener (Andouille sausage, Andouille sauce, sauerkraut, grilled onions and chipotle mayo) purchased at homegrown hot dog empire Dat Dog will be donated to the STOMP Troopers, a special inclusion program that creates a way for younglings with autism to roll in the Chewbacchus parade.
Chewbacchus and the STOMP Troopers implement solution-driven initiatives to encourage autistic children to not only attend New Orleans celebrations of culture, but to actively participate in parades, concerts and festivals. The krewe also prepares autistic children to make friends, learn skills and produce artwork and handmade items.
“We align ourselves with businesses and organizations we think represent our same values,” Bill DiPaola, Dat Dog’s president and COO, said. “The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus is getting these kids involved and providing an opportunity that wouldn’t be possible without the krewe’s support. They are breaking the norm of Mardi Gras krewes. Similarly, Dat Dog is uniquely New Orleans, we’re breaking norms and we’re an inclusive group.”
DiPaola said the IKOC anticipates hundreds of people attending the free event, open to anyone in the universe from flyboys to scruffy-looking nerf herders.
The satirical "Star Wars" and Sci-Fi-themed parade will line up at 6:00 p.m., roll at 7:00 p.m. and feature handcrafted shoebox showcases crafted by IKOC sub-krewes.
After the parade, there will be a costume and shoebox float contest. Judging the far out creations will be the King and Queen of Shoeboxus, Drew Fu Varick and Jules Muck (Muck Rock); Ryan Ballard, Space Commander Chewbaccacabra: Overlord and Conceptual Artist; and Jake Williamson, GM of Dat Dog Frenchmen.
Those interested in entering need to register their floats and costumes in advance here.
No Bantha fodder allowed!
Winners will receive Dat Dog gift cards and IKOC merchandise.
Holy Sith! May The Fourth celebrants will also be awarded with $1 discounts on new Jedi and Sith-themed IKOCocktails.
“I believe all businesses should contribute positively in the neighborhoods in which they exist,” Dat Dog’s DiPaola said. “A lot of businesses and people will talk a good game about supporting the community, but when you get involved with causes like the STOMP Troopers, the Magazine Street Art Market and Son of a Saint, you’re making a tangible difference in people’s lives. We’re not here to constantly take and not give. Also, Dat Dog supports our employees’ time to give back to these organizations. It feels good for our employees to work at a business that supports causes they are passionate about. Ultimately, businesses will see less turnover because the employees are aligned with the mission, vision and values of the company that they work with.”
The Force seems strong with Dat Dog and IKOC, dedicating their combined powers for good. Earlier this year, Dat Dog Frenchmen unveiled a shrine dedicated to the “Sacred Drunken Wookiee” located on the 2nd floor of the restaurant. The space houses IKOC regalia and memorabilia, and the ceiling boasts laser beams and suspended spacecraft models sure to be admired by extraterrestrial tourists.
The Ewok Village on the balcony showcases table artwork designed and crafted by participating IKOC sub-krewes. Unicorns, a Last Supper-inspired scene complete with hot dogs and a Millennium Falcon-shaped memorial to fallen pop icons coexist on the restaurant’s upper deck.
IKOC reps said their mission is to save this galaxy, as well as others far, far away, by bringing the magical revelry of Mardi Gras to the poor, disenfranchised, socially awkward and generally weird masses who may have never had the opportunity to participate in a Mardi Gras parade organization.
“The mission of Chewbacchus is access and inclusion,” IKOC’s Space Commander Chewbaccacabra Ballard said. “We are thrilled to present a public shrine to the Sacred Drunken Wookiee at the Frenchmen Dat Dog that is open to everyone.”
The enormous golden Wookiee has become a celestrial beacon of sorts for the krewe’s more than 2,000 members, including "Star Wars" freaks, Trekkies, Whovians, mega-geeks, gamers, cosplayers, circuit benders, cryptozoologists, UFO conspiracy theorists, mad scientists and the rest of the super nerdom that prosper around the world.
It’s a galactic menagerie as numerous and varied as the types of toppings Dat Dog’s artfully crafted cuisine of hot dogs, sausages, burgers and chicken can be dressed with.
“We pride ourselves at Dat Dog on being funky, and a little bit off key,” Dat Dog’s DiPaola said. “With such a unique community organization like Krewe of Chewbacchus, it’s a perfect partnership. Sales are up, yes, but the biggest benefit is being aligned with cool people and a great mission that we now get the opportunity to support.”