Contraption Construction Advice
There are several types of parade contraptions that are ideal for the Chewbacchus Parade. These include:
- Trikes… which can also be used to tow mini-float trailers (e.g., the X-Wing/Bar2D2)
- Golf Carts/Electric Utility Vehicles (e.g., the Millenium Falcon Wookiee Throne)
- Shopping Carts (e.g., the Barship Enterprise)
Remote controlled electric power chairs, recumbent bicycles, wagons and homemade rolling platforms can also make great contraption chassis. There is no single “best” or “right” way to do it… however, here are the MOST IMPORTANT general guidelines for contraption construction.
1. All Chewbacchus Parade Contraptions should be Drunk Proof. It’s crazy out there… i.e. in the heat of battle, ANY random drunken nerd could be called upon to push/pull/pedal ANYTHING at ANY given time. K.I.S.S. Dont build something that is overly difficult to operate. Err on the side of whatever is the simpliest and most versatile in all things and your life will be better – thus sayeth Chewbaccacabra. That being said…
TEST your contraption BEFORE rolling it in the Chewbacchus Parade. Your contraption needs to be able to move at very slow, stop and go speeds. It must be safe and it must be funtional. Gaps develop in parades. Thats normal and OK. If your contraption creates hassles and hazards because it doesnt really manuver well, that is not OK. If your contraption causes problems for other parade-goers you might be asked to remove it from the parade (i.e. chain it up to a telephone pole and roll without it).
2. Standard Shopping Carts are made for rolling on linoleum floors in super markets NOT the potholded streets of New Orleans. If you build a contraption onto a standard shopping cart chassis you should REPLACE the small standard casters with BIG heavy duty casters or pnuematic tires from Harbor Freight. THE BIGGER THE CASTER THE BETTER. Space Commander Chewbaccacabra uses big 10″ solid rubber casters on all his shopping cart contraptions and you should too.
If you create your own trailer/chassis you should mount swivel casters on the front and rigid casters on the back end. SWIVEL ON THE FRONT. RIGID ON THE BACK. It’ll be a lot easier to manuver and push/pull in the vast majority of cases.
3. SOLID RUBBER CASTERS ARE SUPERIOR TO PNEUMATIC TIRES BECAUSE YOU DONT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT FLAT TIRES OR MAINTENANCE. But, if your contraption has pnuematic tires… you should bring a can of Fix-A-Flat with you during the parade in case you get a flat.
4. A basic tool kit and/or a multi-tool can TOTALLY save your ass in case of a mechanical breakdown on the route. Bring one.
5. Bring a chain and a padlock or a bike lock with you in case your contraption breaks down severely and must be abandoned on the route. If you lock it up to a Stop Sign or telephone pole, there is a good chance you will be able to go retrieve it after the parade and save it.
6. 12v Power Systems/Batteries/Electronics/LEDs are the recommended standard for EVERYTHING. Deep Cycle Marine Grade 12v Batteries are the tried and true method for powering the lighting, sound and animatronic components for contraptions.
7. What you use as your chassis should depend on what you are trying to build. Keep it light, simple, and structurally solid. The creative possibilities are endless.
1. Make throws that are easy to throw and carry.
2. You do not need to give something to every single person on the entire parade route.
3. Chewbacchus throws are handmade works of art and this is a big part of what makes them so special. CHEWBACCHUS IS A WALKING PARADE. YOU SHOULD NOT ATTEMPT TO BRING MORE THROWS THAN YOU CAN COMFORTABLY CARRY.
Don’t Panic. Just be awesome.
A List of Our Favorite Suppliers…
Amazing Faux Furs: www.distinctivefabric.com
EL Wire: www.coolneon.com
Casting Plastic, Rubber, and Resin: www.smooth-on.com
Note: If you live in the South get your Smooth On materials from: www.reynoldsam.com
Animatronic Components and Interactive Devices: www.frightprops.com
Electronics Kits: www.sparkfun.com
Electronic Components: www.jameco.com
Circuit Bending Basics/Kits: www.getlofi.com
Portable Rechargable Battery Solutions: www.batteryspace.com
Kick Ass Bicycle Parts: www.bicycledesigner.com
Incredible Bicycle Wheel Lights: www.monkeylectric.com
12V LED Lighting Modules: www.ledlightingkit.com
More LED Systems: www.superbrightleds.com
High Power Electric Hub Motor Systems for Bicycles: www.electricrider.com
Any and All Eyeball Related Toys, Gizmos, Junk: www.madmartian.com
Discount Costumes and Accessories: www.wholesalecostumeclub.com
The BacchanALIENs Guide to Chewbacchus
THIS GUIDE CONTAINS EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO HAVE A RELATIVELY HASSLE FREE PARADE EXPERIENCE. READ IT CAREFULLY.
SERIOUSLY, DON’T PANIC. THE CHEWBACCHUS PARADE IS A WONDERFUL, SUPER FUN EXPERIENCE. SLOW DOWN, RELAX, AND ENJOY THE RIDE.
How can I become a member of the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus?
Pay your $42 yearly membership dues at www.chewbacchus.org via Paypal, credit card, cash, or check and you will be added to the krewe roster and Chewbacchanal guest list. That’s all you gotta do.
You WILL NOT receive a membership card or a magic decoder ring or a personal visit from the Overlords, so quit asking and chill out. You will be on the krewe list and will check-in and receive a wristband (AKA Droid Collar) on Parade Day. Just show up in an awesome costume.
When and where is the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus parade?
Chewbacchus rolls during prime time Carnival season (sometime during the 2 weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday AKA Mardi Gras Day) thru the streets of New Orleans, LA, USA, N. America, Planet Earth, Milky Way Galaxy.
I don’t understand the whole Mystic Krewe of P.U.E.W.C. thing. Isn’t Chewbacchus a Science Fiction themed parade? Am I missing something important here?
Why, Yes. Yes you are. Science Fiction and Fantasy are two sides of the same coin. And if you throw in Horror… well, then you’ve got some weird three-sided conceptual coin. The point is… Chewbacchus is a Science Fiction themed parade organization BUT we all love Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter, and lots of other nerdy/geeky/dorky but not strictly “Sci Fi” stuff. The Mystic Krewe of P.U.E.W.C. exists to allow ALL of FANDOM to enjoy the blessings of the Sacred Drunken Wookiee and take part in the fun. P.U.E.W.C. is just Chewbacchus wearing a different silly hat and telling itself meta-jokes.
There are a million parade contingents in Chewbacchus! I don’t know whether to join the Krewe of Chewbacchus proper, P.U.E.W.C., Krewe of the Living Dead, or Krewe du Who? I’m so confused?! Do I have to be in a sub-krewe?!?!
The answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything is 42.
Everybody kicks in $42 and gets access to the general supplies/builds/space at the den, the Bar2D2 and other keg-bearing contraptions during the parade, and entry to the Chewbacchanal. We’re all onboard the same Chewbacchus Mothership. Chewbacchus is a multi-headed hydra of fandom and awesomeness. We are all one under the banner of the Sacred Drunken Wookiee.
Why do I need a Droid Collar?
The Droid Collar (aka wrist band) allows you to march in the parade AND it is your ticket for the Chewbacchanal. It also admits you into reserved Krewe areas and gives you access to Krewe ONLY FREE beer and Krewe ONLY FREE food/snacks.
What happens if I don’t get a Droid Collar or lose it?
You are completely screwed and we will keep your money and drink your beer and we will sacrifice you to the Space Gods. You will not be allowed to parade with us or permitted to enter the Chewbacchanal without a wristband. And if you complain about it we will airlock you.
What if I’m bringing a homemade float or art bicycle or parade contraption?
That’s awesome and we love you. Your contraption will most assuredly be assimilated into the parade. Resistance is relatively futile… You will be assigned a place in the line-up ON THE DAY OF THE PARADE (especially if your “Thing” is noisy/musical), but we need to know what you are bringing ahead of time, its space needs, and any other special contingencies. Go read our Advice on Contraption Construction NOW.
Can I park near the parade?
Good Luck. Parking during Carnival is always a challenge of epic proportions. DO NOT park on the neutral ground. DO NOT park along the parade route as cars WILL BE TOWED. DO NOT park on the Street Car lines as your car will be exterminated. Arranging alternative transportation, such as a cab or teleporter is a better idea.
I want to bring my dog, mountain goat, tiger, bantha, etc. Is that cool?
Ok… seriously, have you ever tried to dance, sing, drink, and parade in a big wild crowd with complicated costumes getting snagged on everything with a crazed bantha? It will not be very much fun and nobody will like you. I already dislike you just because you asked.
I want to drop my kid off at the parade and use Chewbacchus like a babysitting service. Is this ok?
Absolutely NOT. We do not allow ANY unaccompanied minors to participate in the Chewbacchus parade. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by their parent/ legal guardian and must remain within close proximity (20ft) at ALL times.
Should I get as drunk as a Tusgan Raider in the Mos Eisley Cantina before the parade?
If you pass out at the pre-parade check-in we will mock you for all of eternity and put your picture in the Hall of Shame after you’ve thrown up on yourself. Drink plenty of water and make sure you have something to eat. Don’t over indulge early or you won’t enjoy yourself for the march and you’ll end up melting into a puddle of gooey cosmic debris.
What should I bring to throw?
Chewbacchus has a 100% DIY throw policy. We are not going to provide you with a boatload of cheap plastic garbage to litter the streets with. Its not how we roll. We believe that one single handmade Chewbacchus throw is BETTER than an entire truckload of junk that nobody really wants anyway.
You can build basically whatever you want to throw… However, don’t bring more than you can physically carry… Nope. Stop it. Shhhh…. Quit asking. Just don’t do it.
Can I store throws and other personal items on the Bar2D2 in the cab of the Falcon?
Nope. No way. No. Wait… let me think about it… NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT.
Quality NOT Quantity, people. Just choose your receipients carefully and make your throws count.
Will I be able to get my non-Chewbacchus friends into the Chewbacchanal?
Sure. Tickets will also be available at the door.
Will I be able to get all of my friends in the Krewe Only area(s) at the Chewbacchanal?
Absolutely not! We all worked extremely hard to put this parade together and YOU paid for this privilege. Your friends will be as welcome as a fart in a space suit.
Anything else I need to know?
We don’t actually have droids to clean up after ourselves in the neighborhoods we parade through. Please be mindful that we pass in front of peoples’ homes and dispose of your trash in an environmentally respectful manner.
READ THROUGH THIS INFORMATION AGAIN BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING YOUR EXTREMELY BUSY OVERLORDS AND OR THE MEMBERSHIP MISTRESSES.