Did the ’tit Rex mini Mardi Gras parade get bigger in 2019?

'tit Rex rolls through the Marigny neighborhood of in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019. The theme for the 11th parade was 'A Modicum of Decency' …. or try to! (Photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

'tit Rex rolls through the Marigny neighborhood of in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019. The theme for the 11th parade was 'A Modicum of Decency' …. or try to! (Photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

The ‘tit Rex parade floats that rolled through the Marigny on Sunday (Feb. 17) didn’t get any bigger; they were still about the size of toy poodles on leashes. But the crowd seemed to be considerably larger than in recent years, which was a relief because the devotion of ‘tit Rex’s following was tested in 2019.

You see, the city moved ‘tit Rex to an earlier spot on the calendar this year and separated it from another popular parade, Chewbacchus, that used to roll on the same night. So it was questionable if the audience for the tiny parade would be as large as usual. Sunday’s beautiful weather certainly played a part in the tremendous turnout, but it seems safe to say that the move didn’t diminish ‘tit Rex’s fanbase at all.

And no wonder. Tiny ‘tit Rex is the best Carnival procession that you’ll ever struggle to see. Unlike full-sized parades that fill a curbside onlooker’s entire field of view, the exquisitely detailed ‘tit Rex floats are led through a forest of onlooker’s legs, small children and crouching camerafolk, in such tight quarters that a quick glance at the rattling contraptions is about all you can hope for … at least at the crowded start of the roll on St. Roch Avenue.

Watching ‘tit Rex is like watching a rock show from way in the back row, even if you’re up close.

But this is a problem that should never be solved. ‘Tit Rex (pronounce it like the toothy dinosaur) is all about deliberate downsizing. The smallness of ‘tit Rex, which was modeled after elementary school shoebox parades, was always meant as a subversion of the steroidal superkrewes such as Endymion and Bacchus.

The tiny, hand-made ‘tit Rex throws (which are too precious to actually throw) are intended as antidotes to the hail storm of plastic imports that accompanies more conventional parades.

'tit Rex parade throws 2019 (Photo by Doug MacCash, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

Photo by Doug MacCash, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

'tit Rex parade throws 2019 (Photo by Doug MacCash, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

‘Tit Rex may be tiny, but it has a big chip on its shoulder. The do-it-yourself ‘tit Rex float builders make some of the most scathing satirical statements in all of Carnival, but they can rely on miniaturization for a certain degree of obfuscation.

It’s easy enough to get the gist of the social-political commentary on topics such as President Trump’s proposed border wall, the crackdown on Bourbon Street prostitution, dysfunctional infrastructure, gentrification, etc. But the details are as difficult to bring into focus as the lyrics in a Bob Dylan song.

My personal favorite 'tit Rex 2019 float was an adorable pastel jetliner stuffed with rows of marshmallow Peeps. It had something to do with the discomfort of contemporary air travel … or so I surmised.

Curiously, I didn’t see any NFL lampooning in this year’s parade. Maybe the artistic types of 'tit Rex aren’t into football? Or maybe I missed something.

'tit Rex rolls through the Marigny neighborhood of in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019. The theme for the 11th parade was 'A Modicum of Decency' …. or try to! (Photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

'tit Rex rolls through the Marigny neighborhood of in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019. The theme for the 11th parade was 'A Modicum of Decency' …. or try to! (Photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

Doug MacCash has the best job in the world, covering art, music and culture in New Orleans. Contact him via email at dmaccash@nola.com. Follow him on Twitter at Doug MacCash and on Facebook at Douglas James MacCash. As always, please add your point of view to the comment stream.