NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The energetic Krewe of Zulu stepped off on time at Jackson and Claiborne avenues early on Fat Tuesday morning in great weather, and the masses showed up to witness it all.
"We are having fun in the Big Easy 2018. You heard me," yelled a Zulu Character in the krewe's traditional black face.
For King Brent D. Washington Sr. and his wife and queen, Troye Madison Washington, it could not have been more perfect.
"I want to let everybody know, Happy Mardi Gras, we're going to have a good time and I'm just so excited," said the king.
"I grew up around the corner on Jackson and Willow. I've watched the parade all my life from this spot. It is a dream come true. I never imagined that I would be up here," the queen said.
And queen Zulu hoped little girls along the parade route were dreaming, too.
"Happy Mardi Gras at the Zulu parade," bellowed a group of cheerful girls.
The king was thrilled that his undergraduate alma mater, Southern University of Baton Rouge's world-renowned band was part of his parade.
"'I have my Southern University band which I'm a alumnus of, it just made my day," said the king.
"I'm so happy. This is amazing. I love it, there's so much life here and the music is fantastic, I love it," said Dawn Kasarda, of Arizona after she caught a coconut. It was her first Mardi Gras.
"I like it, I'm from Dallas, so this is a lot of fun," said Jodie Holmes.
"To all the Who Dat Nation. I said hello," said Saints Player Cam Jordan as he stood atop a float.
At Gallier Hall came a salute to the Zulu royalty.
"Hail Zulu," said the mayor.
Big screen filmmaker Spike Lee served as Zulu's grand marshall.
"Here we are Mardi gras, Zulu Parade Fat Tuesday. United States of America, New Orleans, La., Mardi Gras, What's up?" said Lee from his float as it paused near Gallier Hall.
It was a day when Mayor Mitch Landrieu partied in the street. It was the final Mardi Gras he would preside over as he leaves office in May.
"Oh, I'm so excited, it's such a beautiful day. It's a been a great way to celebrate our 300th anniversary here, everybody's been having a great time and today's going to be the best," said the mayor.
Some first-time Mardi Gras revelers promised to spread the word.
"I love it, I love it. This is my first time here…I am going to try to bring a crew, a whole bunch of people with me next time," said Vaughn Hill of Atlanta.