‘They need their toilet paper’: Council OKs signature throw for Tucks only

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Uptown Messenger file photo

Live oak branches on St. Charles Avenue are gloriously defiled with multi-colored toilet paper after the first few Krewe of Tucks floats pass.

The Krewe of Tucks got its toilet paper back on Thursday (Jan. 18), when the City Council amended its new Carnival regulations to allow the 55-year-old satirical parade its signature throw.

In a meeting days before the start of Carnival season, the City Council approved revisions to the city’s list of prohibited throws. Among the newly banned throws were rolls of toilet paper, prohibited because of cleanup and environmental concerns.

After the ban passed, the Tucks leadership wasted no time in meeting with members of the City Council, the Department of Sanitation and Parks & Parkways. They came up with a compromise so the toilet paper can still fly, though only from Tucks floats.

“Since it is the parade of toilets,” Council President JP Morrell explained at Thursday’s meeting, “they need their toilet paper.”

The Tucks king lampoons the gilded throne of Rex and other Carnival monarchs by riding atop a throne designed to look like a toilet. Hand-decorated plungers and toilet brushes are coveted Tucks throws.

Uptown Messenger file photo

The Krewe of Tucks holds the tradition of throwing toilet paper in high esteem.

Under the amendment, the paper that hangs from the live oaks after a Tucks parade must be “fully biodegradable, marine grande, or made of the most readily degradable form of paper commercially available,” with the last stipulation allowing for innovations in toilet paper technology.

For other krewes, however, any form of paper streamer, even the most environmentally safe TP, is prohibited.

“An increasing number of parading krewes, without the historical tradition and satirical context of Tucks, have also begun to toss toilet paper, often unspooling the tissue and creating unsightly streamers that drape the oaks on St. Charles Avenue,” Ordinance 34,528 states.

Uptown Messenger file photo

A Thoth rider prepares to launch a toilet paper roll.

The ban is part of an effort to aid post-parade debris removal. As the ordinance states: “The accumulation of toilet paper in the parade route canopy creates a lingering and unsightly condition that detracts from the appearance and majesty of Carnival; complicates the already herculean task of parade cleanup and waste removal; and interferes with the parade experience of other parading krewe riders.”

The council approved the Tucks toilet paper amendment unanimously. It needs Department of Sanitation and Parks & Parkways approval before it is finalized.

The Krewe of Tucks rolls (pun intended) on Saturday, Jan. 10, beginning at noon on the Uptown route.

Uptown Messenger file photo

Float riders toss beads to the crowd on Magazine Street during Le Krewe d’Etat’s parade.

The council earlier approved a prohibition that will take effect in the 2025 Carnival season. Beginning next year, beads cannot convey messages unrelated to the krewe, the parade theme or the float. “Beads must either be plain and unadorned or contain the Carnival organization’s logo, name or other identifying feature,” the ordinance states.

Other prohibited throws include:

  • Insects, rodents, marine life, fowl or other animal, dead or alive.
  • “Bomb bags” (full, unopened bags of beads weighing 2-3 pounds) and other life- or safety-threatening objects.
  • Any liquids or noxious substances.
  • Throws with sharp points, such as plastic spears and silk flowers with wire stems.
  • Silly String or any other streamers from a pressurized container.
  • Mylar and metal confetti.
  • Doubloons or other trinkets redeemable for a prize or discount. Throws with commercial, religious or political messages.
  • Discarded boxes or bags. Packages with bulk throws. All throws must be removed from their packaging before they are tossed to the crowd.
  • Sexually oriented objects, including condoms.

    Uptown Messenger file photo

    A young boy gets a boost to catch throws from the Krewe of Thoth.

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