Sunday, February 03, 2008

A little taste of Carnival

Taking the easy way out: posting photos borrowed from other websites. I hope the copyright Nazis won't come after me. (Yeah, right, like any of the copyright holders would even know about this blog....) The Joker photo at left is from

At right is the 2008 King of the Krewe of Tucks, which paraded yesterday. (Photo from The Times-Picayune, This krewe started life in the late '60s via a bunch of drunken college students who held their beer blasts at a local hangout then known as Friar Tuck's. (I remember those days--used to go there myself, lo, a-many years ago....In fact, I attended the inaugural parade of Tucks.) At the time it was raunchy and scurrilously parodied the traditional old-line Carnival krewes. The original parade had an actual toilet as the king's throne. The early Krewe of Tucks, populated by impecunious collegians who made their own floats and costumes, was a half-assed affair for years, but always funny. Over the years, however, Tuck has been tamed. It still has a bit of satirical edge, but mostly has gone the way of the bigger krewes, renting commercially-designed floats, and omitting its most jaw-dropping attempts to shock the populace. The biggest vestige of the original Tucks is that the king still rides on a toilet throne, although it's one made of papier-mache or fiberglass by a float designer. I guess you could say it's better than the original real toilet, because it's a lot bigger and shows up better on the float.

Regardless of what you can tell is my nostalgia for the old half-assed Tucks parade, it's still fun to watch. My sister rode in it for years, with the same group of people on the same float with the same theme: they were The Blues Brothers every year.

Oh, and at the Krewe of Tucks' coronation ball, the maids of the royal court are usually 30-to-40-something women rather than debutantes, dressed as French maids rather than in traditional white gowns. (They ain't no debs, that's for sure!)

(The above photo is either maids of the royal court, or else medieval wenches--I got the photo from the Tucks website. It's from the 2003 Krewe, and was uncaptioned.)

Here is the krewe's own description of itself, from the website (recognizing 2008 marks their 40th year parading):

The Krewe of Tucks announces the 2008 Theme:
Tucks Tops Faughty but Still Naughty

Known for its irreverence, the Krewe of Tucks began in 1969 as a group of Loyola University students. The club takes its name from Friar Tuck, an uptown pub where two college students decided to create their own Carnival krewe after unsuccessfully trying to become white flambeaux carriers. The parade has grown from a small nighttime parade of pick-up trucks into a procession of major proportions. In 1983 the parade became a daytime event and in 1986 the parade route finally stretched to downtown. Even though the club has grown in size and stature, Tucks has not lost its sense of humor.


Shauna Roberts said...

Oh, am I missing New Orleans right now!

Lisa said...

Thanks for telling the story of the Krewe of Tucks. I have a vague understanding of what the "Krewes" are all about, but not much more. This was very illuminating!

Charles Gramlich said...

I didn't know this about Tucks. Cool. Love the tidbit about them wanting to become flambeaux carriers.

FalseIdol said...

As a the redhead in the above photograph, I can explain that the women on that particular King's Float were his Royal Wenches. Kings traditionally have children - or pages - on the King's float, but King Tucks Perry St. Raymond decreed that he desired Royal Wenches to serve him. I also happen to be the maid for the Funky Tucks' float... In keeping with the krewe's irreverency, the maids of the Krewe of Tucks wear French maid uniforms at the coronation ball, vice the traditional white dress and gloves of other Krewes. Thanks for profiling the krewe!