NEW ORLEANS – Monday afternoon, thousands of people gathered at stages along the Riverfront to wait for the arrivals of the Zulu King and Rex.
It’s a Lundi Gras tradition that usually goes on rain or shine. This year, skies threatened, but the arrivals occurred with only a light rain falling.
This year’s Zulu King and Queen are Monica and Cedric Givens. Both were thankful for the crowd that waited to see them despite the rain.
“It’s wonderful. You can’t kill the spirit in the people of New Orleans and the visitors. They want to share in this special time,” Monica Givens said shortly after arriving by Coast Guard ship.
Cedric Givens also expressed a similar sentiment for his ride and reign as Zulu King on Mardi Gras morning.
“We have the spirit right now. We’re going to have an excellent ride tomorrow,” he said. “Rain or shine, I will be there.”
About an hour after the Zulu arrival, the Krewe of Rex arrived just upriver at Spanish Plaza. This year’s Rex is New Orleans attorney Bill Hines.
Hines compared his reign as Rex to other big events that New Orleanians love.
“Sitting in Miami watching the Saints win the Super Bowl, seeing the Hornets first game. There are 4 or 5 things that give you goose bumps, and this certainly right now is at the top of that list,” Hines said.
The evening ended with a meeting of the Mardi Gras royalty on the Spanish Plaza stage and a fireworks show.
Both men are hoping for a glorious reign with as little rain as possible.