Centennial float wows in Tucks parade
Loyola’s centennial float rolled in the Krewe of Tucks parade on the Saturday before Mardi Gras. The float, which featured Loyola-themed art, honored the university’s 100-year anniversary. PHOTO COURTESY OF LOYOLA UNIVERSITY NEW ORLEANS
Loyola got involved in the throwing of decorated toilet brushes this year with their own float in the Krewe of Tucks parade.
The Loyola-themed float that ran in Saturday's parade was part of the university's centennial celebration.
Before the parade got rolling, the riders on the float took part in decorating one of the signature throws of the Tucks parade.
"We spent one night before the parade at a toilet brush decorating party," Lisa Adams, associate director of alumni relations, said. "That was one of the specialty items that we gave away, similar to how the Krewe of Muses gives away the decorated shoes."
When Loyola's celebratory float finally did roll it was filled with Loyola faculty and alumni. Adams said that she was happy to get so many former Loyola students to be a part of the parade. She was particularly pleased with the number of out-of-town alumni who rode with her that day.
"Out of all the riders we had I would say about half of them were from out of town," Adams said. "One rider came in from Boston, we had another from Brooklyn and about six from the Houston area. Everyone totally enjoyed it."
Adams, who was a first-time rider in the parade, said that there was a lot of interest from the people involved in having another Loyola-themed float in next year's Tucks parade.
"I think we have enough alumni and friends that are interested in doing it again even if it's not an alumni event. So that's definitely something we're considering," she said.
The department of alumni relations played a key role in getting the word out to graduates about the opportunity to ride in a parade. Adam's said that once people were notified, spots on the float filled up quickly.
"We had a flyer and we also did email blasts and within two months we filled the float," she said. "There's a lot of interest out there."
Loyola's centennial float, along with all of the other floats in the Tucks parade, is designed by Blaine Kern Studios. Blaine Kern Studios president, Berry Kern, said that the original idea for all floats comes from the krewes.
"A lot of the clients come to us with a preconceived notion of what they'd like to see," he said. "We take their ideas, put them on paper and do sketches."
For this year's Tucks parade, Blaine Kern was tasked with designing floats for Tucks's history of Louisiana theme.
Krewe captain Sue Mennino said that every float in the parade got to put their own spin on this year's theme.
"This year's theme was Tucks uncovers history, because of the 100th anniversary," she said. "We wanted to have every float depict an event in New Orleans or Louisiana history."
With the 100-year anniversary of Loyola being celebrated this year, the centennial float fit right in with the parade's historical theme. But Loyola's centennial celebration in the Krewe of Tucks did not end with the parade float.
Loyola also set up a viewing party along the parade route at the restaurant Mia's balcony.
"The mascot was there and the dance team was in front of the float," Mennino said.
Even though a parade in motion tends to stay in motion, Loyola's float did make brief stop in front of it's viewing party to give them a chance to appreciate the float.
Adams said that they had about seventy-five attendees at the viewing party on Mia's Balcony.
"They had a buffet set up for them and free beer and that sold out in record time, so that was another nice event," she said.
Adams said she considers her first time riding in a parade a success and said that in addition to the fun she had with the Krewe of Tucks she now has her own Loyola-themed bathroom related memento.
"I got a maroon and gold toilet brush with a centennial medallion on it. I have a special one for myself ," she said.
Hasani Grayson can be reached at email@example.com
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