Carrie Fisher's memorial parade was late and lost, but ultimately lovely

A fan trades buns for bread during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Star Wars fans are out in force during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Star Wars fans are out in force during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Star Wars fans are out in force during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
A painted tribute on St. Claude Avenue during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Star Wars fans are out in force during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Star Wars fans are out in force during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Star Wars fans are out in force during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
The Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Star Wars fans are out in force during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Star Wars fans are out in force during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Star Wars fans are out in force during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Jabba the Hutt shows up despite his history with the Star Wars heroine during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Brooke Etheridge (R) and Dewuan Magee dance as the Leijorettes perform during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
The Leijorettes pose for a selfie during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
The crowd applauds when the police escort shows up for the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Star Wars fans are out in force during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Star Wars fans are out in force during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
The Leijorettes take a knee for a moment of silence before the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
The Leijorettes perform during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
The Leijorettes perform during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Star Wars fans are out in force during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Star Wars fans are out in force during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Star Wars fans are out in force during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
A fan stands by the painted door to the Krewe's den during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Brooke Etheridge (R) and Dewuan Magee dance as the Leijorettes perform during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
The Leijorettes dance during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
A fan stands by the painted door to the Krewe's den during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
A fan stands by the painted door to the Krewe's den during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
The Leijorettes dance during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Brooke Etheridge (L) and Dewuan Magee (R) dance as the Leijorettes perform during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Star Wars fans are out in force during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
The Leijorettes dance during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
The Leijorettes dance during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Star Wars fans are out in force during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
The Leijorettes pass by during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
The Leijorettes dance during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
The Leijorettes dance during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
The Leijorettes process during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Star Wars fans are out in force during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Star Wars fans are out in force during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Dad showed up during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Cousins of the Rancor battle it out with lightsabers during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Star Wars fans are out in force during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Star Wars fans are out in force during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
Star Wars fans are out in force during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
A young Ewok watches the Leijorettes dance during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
The Leijorettes dance during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
The Leijorettes dance during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)
The crowd watches the Leijorettes dance during the Chewbacchus Princess Leia Tribute Parade through the Bywater to honor Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher who died earlier this week. Photographed on Friday, December 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Michael DeMocker)

A memorial parade for late actor Carrie Fisher, who died Tuesday (Dec. 27), took place in the Bywater neighborhood on Friday evening. Fisher is best known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars movie series. The iconic character made her a hero of the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus Mardi Gras marching group, which was inspired by Star Wars themes.

The parade, officially titled "To Me, She's Royalty: A Parade to Honor Carrie Fisher," did not proceed as planned.

Late

The 4 o'clock starting time of the parade came and went, but the parade remained stationary, and remained stationary, and remained stationary. Rumors had spread through the crowd of hundreds at the corner of Mazant and Chartres Streets that the Krewe of Chewbacchus lacked the proper permit to proceed. But that was not the case.

As an affable police officer explained, the parade may have been scheduled to form at 3 p.m. and roll at 4, but the times on the permit were an hour later. Chewbacchus co-founder Ryan Ballard acknowledged that the mixup was entirely the krewe's mistake. He said that both the city permitting office and NOPD had been "very gracious in accommodating our three-day timeframe."

As soon as the scheduling mistake became apparent, NOPD motorcycle officers were dispatched to the parade. When they arrived, at sometime after 4:30, the procession departed ... in the wrong direction.

Lost

The map issued by Chewbacchus indicated that the parade would travel one block north on Mazant Street, then turn on Dauphine Street, heading toward Poland Avenue. Instead, it headed south on Mazant Street, and followed Chartres to Poland Avenue. No explanation for the change circulated. The impromptu rerouting added two blocks to the parade's trek, as it added to the general confusion. Though expected to last as long as an hour, the parade passed in mere minutes.

Lovely

The parade was led by a marching group called the Leijorettes, all costumed as tap dancing Princess Leias. Just before the predicted 4 o'clock start time, Sally Asher, one of the group's leaders, called for quiet in order to read a tribute to their hero. Princess Leia, she said, exemplified modern female virtues via her "fashion forward sense, ability with a blaster, devotion to democracy, and practical yet passionate ideology that she defended no matter what."

Asher then explained that the Leijorettes membership included several Big Easy Rollergirl roller derby players. It is a roller derby custom, she said, that when a player is injured and must leave the track, the other players drop to one knee in tribute to a fallen comrade. The Leijorettes dropped to one knee in Fisher's honor and much of the surrounding crowd followed suite.

Amidst the costuming and chaos it was a moment of sweet sadness.

NOLAier than thou

The buildup to the parade had included some rather strident social media criticism. In the briefest terms, the celebrity-centered parade was seen as too untraditional to be taken seriously. Or even worse, the memorial parade was seen as eroding New Orleans' fundamental culture.

This is nothing new to Chewbacchus. The ever-growing science-fiction oriented parade, which formed in 2010, is often a scapegoat for fears of post-Katrina change. In the minds of some traditionalists, Chewbacchus is just too alien for the Crescent City.

But Martin Childs, a long-term Chewbacchus member, sees things differently. Childs, who was dressed in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle disguise for the parade, said that Chewbacchus's success is based on two basic factors.

Since it only costs $42 to belong, he said, the price isn't prohibitive. Plus, he said, lots of people relate to the sci-fi puns and metaphors.

"People come to participate in what we do because it's actually a very accessible and fun thing."

The anti-Chewbacchus contingent, he said, want to be seen as more purely devoted to New Orleans' old time traditions.

"I get it, I'm from here," he said. "People try to tell us that they are NOLAier (rhymes with holier) than us."

But, he said, "NOLAier than thou has got to go."

Do you agree?

Considering Carrie Fisher's self-deprecating humor, sometimes off-the-tracks life path, and endearing outspokenness, the late, lost, lovely and controversial " To Me, She's Royalty: A Parade to Honor Carrie Fisher ," seemed entirely apropos. Do you agree?

Correction: The approximate time the parade began was sometime after 4:30 not 5:30 as originally reported.

Update: This story was updated on December 31 to include Ballard's explanation of the scheduling mixup.