Zulu wows parade-watchers with coconuts and more - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Zulu wows parade-watchers with coconuts and more

King Zulu 2014 Garren Thomas Mim, Sr., on Fat Tuesday morning. King Zulu 2014 Garren Thomas Mim, Sr., on Fat Tuesday morning.

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - With cloudy skies, the Krewe of Zulu and its charismatic characters got the party started in New Orleans.  It is always the first parade of the day in the city.  

"Happy Mardi Gras from the Zulu Tramps," yelled a Zulu member in blackface.

Local bands and marching units from outside the state took part in the parade that saluted the life and legacy of the late South African President Nelson Mandela.

"I'm going to be looking for everybody on the parade route and I'm going to give them a coconut," said Zulu King Garren Thomas Mims Sr., as he stood atop his float on Claiborne Avenue near Jackson Avenue.

Before the parade cleared Jackson Avenue, the rain began to fall.

"I'm enjoying the Mardi Gras. I came all the way from Afghanistan to do this here Mardi Gras," said one krewe member.

A group of friends from Virginia witnessed their first Mardi Gras.

"It'd be definitely my favorite if I got a coconut," said Kristen Waterfield.

Deborah Benton traveled from Michigan for Fat Tuesday.

"Thank you, thank you, God bless you," she said after being handed a coconut.

At Gallier Hall, hundreds greeted the Zulu royalty and all of the parade's participants.

"I have about 400 coconuts," said one parade-watcher outside Gallier Hall.

"We're enjoying Mardi Gras," said Robbi Baragona,who watches the parade in the stands at Gallier Hall every year

"Fabulous. This was our first time and this is fabulous," said Frank Pierzga of Connecticut.

King Zulu and his wife and queen, Georgette Anita Lang-Mims, said their wish was for a safe and fun-filled day.

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