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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Iris, Tucks evade rain and parade in Uptown (slideshow)

Posted By on Sat, Feb 10, 2018 at 4:17 PM

The krewes of Iris and Tucks dodged anticipated thunderstorms for parades in Uptown on the last and biggest Saturday of Carnival.

Worries of rain and lightning had prompted the krewes to push back their start times and caused much hand-wringing in the community this week. But "the sun always shines on Iris," says the krewe, and while the sky was really more of a pearly, overcast color the worst of the rain seemed to have passed during the very early hours of Feb. 10.

Iris, New Orleans' oldest all-female krewe, kicked off the day with its parade themed "Iris Begins a New Era." (The krewe celebrated its centennial last year.) Floats were loosely themed around different historical periods, though some were more well-defined than others ("Ancient India," "Cosmos"), and a few floats seemed like different iterations of the same idea ("Stone Age," "Ice Age," "Jurassic Era.")

Iris is notable for the beauty of its throws, including iridescent bead strands, elegant clay medallions, holographic cups, glasses cases in the krewe's signature violet and hand-decorated sunglasses. Their riders also seem to enjoy themselves more than almost any other krewe; the women of Iris are invariably smiling and always are generous with crowds.

Numerous bands from local schools, including Samuel J. Green Charter School, Sophie B. Wright Charter School and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School for Science and Technology joined the procession. They were accompanied by marching groups such as the FCDC Fat City Drum Corps, one of whose members was spotted impressively smoking a cigarette while playing a drum cadence.

Tucks, the krewe whose sense of humor tap-dances along the line between the irreverent and sophomoric,  followed Iris as morning slipped into afternoon. Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the krewe's theme was "50 Shades of Gold," and floats riffed on gold-related idioms or simply nodded to things that are gold. The "Heart of Gold" float depicted a candy heart with the words "Bend over and hold my beer," while a "Golden Chicken" float featured a giant drumstick. Another float toasted Goldie Hawn.

Some floats this year featured stabs at commentary or satire. "All That Glitters Is Not Gold" seemed to poke at both the krewes of Muses and Nyx. A "Gold Rush" float featured the presidential seal and jibes about cronyism.

A good selection of bands from around the state (including bands form Lake Providence, Shreveport and Baton Rouge) rounded out the parade, and marching groups included the lascivious, oft-moustached Laissez Boys and the Krewe of Kolossos atop their weird bicycle steeds made up to look like dinosaurs or nutria. Parade-goers collected glitter toilet plungers, tiny toilets filled with candy, "blue balls" plushes and gold "grills" embossed with the word "Tucks."

Also ubiquitous: the krewe's signature toilet paper, which wrapped itself around the branches of Napoleon Avenue oaks and fluttered gaily in the breeze.

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