The Krewe of Tucks is without a doubt one of the most “colorful” of the Carnival parades in every sense of the word. Known for its toilet-based humor, Tucks was founded in 1969 by Loyola students in the Friar Tuck bar (from which the krewe derives its name) after they had tried in vain to become White flambeaux carriers. Begun as a small night parade of pick-up trucks, the parade is now a large daytime parade and one of the city’s favorites.
From the people wearing giant neon dragons to the ones riding bikes done up as seahorses and alligators, creativity abounds. The theme, “iTucks: what’s APPenning” led to floats like “Wi-Ki-Ki Leaks,” “U Boob Enhanced” with a overly buxom woman of papier maché and “U Tub” with a slide leading from the top deck to a giant tub on the lower deck. I think the whole crowd could relate to the, “Ain’t no place to Wii on Mardi Gras Day” float and the giant toilet with the raised lid reading, “Ye Royal Out House” is another pleaser.
The krewe’s motto is “Booze, Beer, Bourbon, Broads” and all seem well represented but the parade remains very family friendly. There were plenty of fun bands like Panorama, Rochester’s Prime Time and the Riverside Ramblers as well as dance crews like Muff-A-Lottas, Superstar Steppers, Dancing Angels and the “ordinary men, extraordinary moves” of the 610 Stompers. There were Star Wars characters including a Princess Leia and a black and gold Storm Trooper, courtesy of some of the over 4000 members of Bast Alpha Garrison. The Ducks of Dixieland have been marching with Tucks since 1986 and went with a “Duckamation” theme with cartoon characters like SpongeBob SquarePants and Marvin the Martian. There were even Urban Cowboys on horseback, go-go girls in cages and a haunted pirate ship as well as the decorated motorcycles of Farhad Grotto.
I loved the organized chaos of the Edison Alumni Band as much as I loved the precision of the King College Prep band from Chicago who performed at the Presidential Inaugural Ball in 2009. Other wonderful school bands included Stillman College from Tuscaloosa, G. W. Carver, Baker’s Symphony of Soul, M.L King and their K-Sations, Loranger, Kirby of Memphis, Mississippi’s Jim Hill Tigers (who had the good sense to play, “Stand Up and Get Crunk,”), Harper out of Chicago, East St. John, Brusly, Donaldsonville, Tipitina’s Foundation recipients Miller-McCoy, John McDonogh, East High from Memphis and so many more.
The King, Brad Frischhertz, and Queen, Sue Falter Mennino (a professor at Loyola – guess this krewe puts the “loyal” in Loyola) led the parade to their post-parade extravaganza, one of the few Mardi Gras Balls open to the cash-paying public. The parade left the streets littered with the traditional beads, cups and toys but added strewn toilet paper to the mix. The rain held out for most of the parade and a fun time was truly had by all. Definitely one of my favorite parades of the season.