Rex, Zulu royalty arrive to fanfare before the rain

Rex, Zulu royalty arrive to fanfare before the rain

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The rainy weather held off long enough Monday for Carnival royalty to make their grand Lundi Gras arrivals.

In a different "Fat Monday" twist, Rex, King of Carnival, arrived this year by train.

"We had an incredible ride down here aboard the train. We have not arrived this way into our winter capitol since 19th century," said Rex 2015 Christian Brown.

He relished the excitement that awaits Rex's arrival on the day before Fat Tuesday.

"Hail citizens of New Orleans. Welcome to Carnival 2015," said Rex.

And an hour before along the riverfront at Woldenberg Park, the annual Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club's Lundi Gras Festival culminated with the much-anticipated arrival of the reigning Zulu King and Queen aboard a Coast Guard cutter.

"To our citizens of New Orleans we say Happy Mardi Gras," said Zulu King Andrew "Pete" Sanchez, Jr.

His queen and wife, Janice Sanchez, said they are hoping for a great ride on Mardi Gras.

"That we just have a safe and happy Mardi Gras," said the queen of Zulu.

Zulu with its energetic characters is always the first parade of the day on Fat Tuesday. Rex follows Zulu along the usual parade route.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu is hoping for a huge turnout along the parade route.

"The weather is going to be beautiful, it's great to receive Zulu and Rex," said Landrieu before the rain moved in.

Like Zulu, Rex headed to the riverfront for a celebration fit for a king.

"It is an incredible honor, I don't think there's a greater civic honor in New Orleans than to be the King of Carnival," he said.

During a brief ceremony, the mayor turns the reigns city over to the king of carnival, a symbolic move, of course.

"To bequeath the streets of the city unto Rex and to give unto him the key for now until tomorrow night at 12 o'clock, king here you go. All hail Rex, All hail Rex," said Landrieu.

For the King of Carnival and the king of Zulu, their reign will not soon be forgotten and their collective wish for Tuesday is great weather and good, clean fun.

Serving as Zulu's Grand Marshal this year is Norman Francis, president of Xavier University, who is retiring this summer after nearly 50 years as the leader of the university.

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