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Tens of thousands gathered Friday night at the convention center for the Zulu Aid & Pleasure Club’s annual ball.

It’s been described as a celebration, full of food and fun, and flanked by tradition and pageantry.

One of the highlights of the evening was the crowning of the 2013 Zulu King, Cedric Givens.

“It’s been wonderful, I’m excited and looking forward to an excellent Mardi Gras,” Givens said. “It’s been joyful. It’s an honor.” “I respect all my brothers for having the confidence in me to represent them as King for 2013.”

Givens has been a Zulu member since 1999.

He’s served on the Board of Directors from 2008-2012.

The Zulu Ball is considered one of the largest formal gatherings attended primarily by African Americans.

The Zulu parade kicks off Tuesday morning 8am.

The parade begins at S. Claiborne and Jefferson, and concludes at Orleans Ave. and Broad St.