NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - For the 2017 King of Zulu, his reign is a dream come true.
"In 2008, I was the Zulu Mayor, I was one of the characters, and from that experience I was like, I think I'm going to become king," said King Zulu Adonis Charles Expose.
But getting the title did not come without waging an expensive campaign.
"Making phone calls, sending out literature, probably about five or six mail-outs to the over 500 [person] membership, giving parties," the king said.
Per Zulu's tradition, once the king has been elected he makes the decision on who will reign as his queen.
Expose chose his friend of 35 years, Donna Marie Glapion. Both are New Orleans natives.
"I guess it was sort of unspoken because we've been friends for so long. We went to junior high, high school and college together and then after college we started a business together, so he says I was in the top three, that's his joke," said Queen Glapion, laughing.
The king was jovial as well in telling his side of the story.
"During the campaign she would make me upset, make me mad, and I would say, 'Okay, you're in the top three you might not make it, you keep on and I am going to select someone else.' And she would say, 'Hmm, I wish you would.' But I always knew," said Expose.
Both received bachelor's degrees from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, now called ULL, and went on to receive graduate degrees at other universities.
With a communications and management background, King Zulu worked for the Housing Authority of New Orleans for many years and is currently employed by the Regional Transit Authority in the Office of Procurement and Contracts.
The queen is the daughter of former longtime New Orleans School Board member Gail Glapion and the late John M. Glapion, and is employed as Operations Manager at William J. Fischer Elementary School.
The king is the youngest son of Mrs. Marion Brown Expose and the late Frank L. Expose.
For the royal pair, laugther comes easily and as they prepare to ride in Fat Tuesday's first parade of the day. Their collective wish is for a safe fun time and that children along the parade route dream big dreams.
"You can be a role model and you can also be sitting where I am sitting today as king," Expose said.
Expose has been a member of the Krewe of Zulu since 2002 and is an officer. He is currently parliamentarian and chairman of Zulu's annual Christmas party.
Expose is also a former board member of Young Audiences, the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Louisiiana and Heart 'N' Hands Inc.
Glapion has been active with the organization for years, including helping to coordinate the Toys for Tots event.