Posts tagged Krewe of Tucks
New Mardi Gras rules were passed by our esteemed New Orleans city council this week. Among the highlights- no more generators on truck floats, instead power inverters that run off the engine are required. No children under the age of 3 can ride on a float. Tougher fire codes were enacted for flambeaux and floats. A limit on the number of parade permits was instituted. No more than 30 permits can be issued annually, though if you have a permit now, you can keep it. 33 organizations have permits at this time. Attrition will eventually lower the number of permits to 30.
But the most important regulation allows Tucks to continue to throw their beloved icon throw, Tucks Bathroom Tissue!! Councilwomen LaToya Cantrell said it wasn’t really a safety issue. When these rules were first proposed, Tucks paper was tossed. Eventually after a strong outcry, Cantrell changed her mind and removed the ban from the bill. Good for her, she knows what’s important to the people of New Orleans.
This is the second package of Carnival rules pushed through by the council this year. The last bill contained updated regulations about throwbacks, ladders and sectioning off space on the neutral ground. Cantrell said she is working on an additional measure, one ending the practice of throwing packs/bags of beads and very heavy beads. Many float riders hand these off, but that’s not always possible, especially for 2nd story riders on double decker floats.
Orleans Parish Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, District B is leading this effort to tighten up some Carnival rules. Some make sense like ending parking on the opposite side of St Charles during parades. I didn’t see the toilet paper ban coming by any means, I thought the City Council was busy with the city’s business and the upcoming election. Wrong!
The Krewe of Tucks has already spent tens of thousands of dollars printing this year’s toilet tissue, and is shocked the ban is still part of the proposed ordinance.
The throw is made in America, unlike beads which are extruded in China in gulag type factories. Toilet paper disappears during the first hard rain, unlike beads which last for years. But as fast as this the toilet paper ban was presented by Cantrell it was withdrawn by Cantrell as the ruckus over this harebrained idea grew.
Tucks is known for several throws but their icon throw is their toilet paper roll. Each sheet has the Tucks logo printed on it. It’s not exactly on a par with the Zulu coconut, but it’s pretty high up there on the short list of icon throws along with Muses’ decorated shoe.
I spoke to some Uptown New Orleanians who don’t like St. Charles Avenue after Carnival with all the toilet paper on the majestic oak trees. Personally, I find the temporary effect surreal.
February 7, 2009- Krewe du Vieux, the only French Quarter-Marigny mule driven Mardi Gras parade, rolled around 7:00 pm. This was my first year associated with KdV. It’s the most ribald parade also, heavy on the political satire. 17 floats with 19 New Orleans Brass Bands.
I do have a history with KdV’s predecessor, the Krewe of Clones. The Contemporary Arts Center started Clones in late 70s. We learned that the person managing the parade took his partying seriously and by the time the last floats joined in the parade, he wasn’t in the best shape to conduct his duties. We would paint our old VW bus into a giraffe or elephant, and drive right into the parade. We did this for several years.
I also had my own float in Tucks for three years during the time that Tucks allowed independent floats for a price. I would rent a stakebed truck and we’d decorate this. Here’s a picture of one of my three floats. I think this is the first one. The fee was around $500.00 each year. 25 of my friends from around the country would come down and ride with my family and neighborhood kids.
My friend Jack got me involved with KdV a couple of weeks ago, when he mentioned that the sub-krewe he marched with, Krewe of Underwear, needed a couple of additional escorts. Escorts are the Krewe’s security force, maintaining order on the parade route. I signed up through the Krewe’s Escort Manager, Jen. It’s a volunteer position with heavy perks. In my estimation, well worth the effort.