NEW ORLEANS - Known for its light-hearted, unique throws, the Krewe of Tucks aims to poke fun at the old line krewes. For 35 years, toilet paper has been its signature throw.
“If you ask anyone, Krewe of Tucks, they think, ‘Oh, the parade that throws the toilet paper,” said float captain Marc Frischhertz.
But you may no longer see that signature toilet tissue flying from floats. The City Council is considering banning it.
“It was something that came up from the community, the krewes and the administration as something we needed to clean up and address,” said Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, District B.
“It takes far more away from us than any benefit we see aesthetically,” said Frischhertz.
It's part of a comprehensive ordinance that would amend Carnival rules. The proposal includes uniform 6-foot setbacks for grills and ladders, $250 fines for any company that puts a portable toilet on public property, and new parking restrictions on either side of St. Charles Avenue during a parade.
“We're looking for a clean and safer Carnival season for everyone to enjoy,” said Cantrell, who has been working on drafting the ordinance for nearly a year.
Tucks representatives are all for a safer Carnival, but say there's nothing unsafe about their throws.
The toilet paper is biodegradable and American-made. The krewe says it disappears with the first rainfall, while beads stay in trees for years.
“The toilet paper is our coconut,” said Frischhertz. “From our perspective, it's akin to going to [the Krewe of] Zulu and telling them they can't throw out their [signature] coconuts any longer.”
“It is not the same as a coconut in terms of it doesn't create litter into the community,” said Cantrell.
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.
“It's our understanding that there was a Mardi Gras coordinating committee that met and unanimously approved the toilet paper as a throw, and now we see it's included in the ordinance the council is going to discuss,” said Frischhertz.
Now, they're just hoping they can continue to let the good times – and the toilet paper roll.
The city council is set to vote on the ordinance Jan. 23. If passed, it would go into effect immediately. But Cantrell is considering amending the ordinance to give Tucks an extra year to comply.