Krewe Fou Que Tchu Embraces a Cleaner, Greener, More Meaningful Mardi Gras

We got a chance to interview John “Pudd” Sharp, the leader of Krewe Fou Que Tchu, a sub-krewe of Krewe de Canailles in Lafayette, Louisiana. Since forming in 2018, Krewe Fou Que Tchu has created recycled and handmade throws for a cleaner, greener, more meaningful Mardi Gras. In this interview, we learn about Krewe Fou Que Tchu and their 2023 theme, “Drains to Bayou,” which communicates the importance of protecting our waterways from litter.


Tell us about the inspiration for this year’s parade theme.
The overall parade theme this year is “There’s Something In The Water.” Our sub-krewe is going with the theme “Drains to Bayou,” an anti-pollution message to remind everyone that what we throw down or put into the ground makes its way into our local waterways very easily and quickly.


What makes your sub krewe unique?
Krewe Fou Que Tchu likes to consider the parade a community art event that we are lucky to be a part of. By design, we have a variety of members that offer different skills to the group. We meet to discuss ideas, float decor, and costumes starting around six weeks before the parade, so we take it pretty seriously. We make a party of all meetings and work days!


Tell us about your throws. What are they made of?
We have had all kinds of throws: recycled koozies, bracelets made of discarded fabric and buttons, recycled paper drink coasters, original paintings, and small sculptures of fabric sheep, clay mushrooms, and figurines. We’ve also done food, bookmarks, stickers, postcards, buttons, and used kids’ books. The mother group, Krewe de Canailles, distributes wooden doubloons to use as special throws as well.


Art throws made by the krewe


Handmade throws made by the krewe


Why is it important to reduce waste at Mardi Gras?
The amount of plastic that is discarded each Mardi Gras season is truly appalling. Strings of toxic plastic beads, the generic go-to Mardi Gras throw, are so common that they hold no value. Parade goers literally refuse to pick them up off the ground, so thousands lay abandoned, either left to slowly attempt to decay on roadways or be swept into drains.


How can other groups help to reduce Mardi Gras waste?

  1. Make it standard practice to use greener throws: paper beads, biodegradable beads, or more special handmade/recycled items.
  2. Designate someone to collect recyclable materials and trash from floats at both the start of parade and the end.
  3. As much as possible, reuse costumes, decorations, and throws.
  4. Large tractor trailer float parades should feature a “throw back float” as the last vehicle. This is a huge box like structure with a message on it for parade goers to throw back unwanted materials.


What do you love most about Mardi Gras in Louisiana?
The fact that it is a celebration of community and tradition – some old and some new. It’s a time for colorful and extravagant folk celebration during the often dreary – but short and mild – Louisiana Winter.


What can we expect from your krewe during the Krewe de Canailles parade on February 10?

Our float will feature a huge two-headed turtle on top of a mountain of trash. Members will be dressed as wildlife effected by pollution.