Everywhere Else It’s Just Monday
Lundi Gras festivities with Zulu, Rex, parades and more
There is less than a week left of Mardi Gras revelry this year and all too soon folks will be renewing those New Year’s resolutions as they morph into Lenten promises. The parades roll daily for the next seven, so why not throw a festival into the mix?
Lundi Gras, a name which has no affiliation with the liturgical calendar but why not have a “Fat Monday” as well, has become a day of serious celebration. On this day, Rex, the King of Carnival, arrives to greet the crowds and receive the key to the city from the mayor. The Zulu King and his court of characters also process through the crowds and, as has become tradition, Rex and the Zulu King greet each other and usher in the culmination of weeks of Carnival together.
The Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club sponsors the Lundi Gras Festival, which is marking its 25th anniversary this year. This free public event will take place Monday, Feb. 12 from 10:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. along the Mississippi River in Woldenberg Park in the French Quarter. Three stages offer musical performances and appearances by the Zulu Characters. King Zulu 2018 Mr. Brent D. Washington Sr. and Queen Zulu 2018 Troye Washington will arrive by boat on the river and will then appear on the King Zulu Stage (located at the Great Lawn at Woldenberg Park) at 5:00 p.m. At 5:25 p.m., they will make their way upriver to the Riverwalk celebration to greet Rex.
The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk Lundi Gras has a new location this year, and will be at Riverwalk’s Julia Street entrance at Convention Center Boulevard instead of its previous location at Spanish Plaza. This is a separate, but also free and public event with musical performances, that honors the arrival of Rex, King of Carnival. It will take place Monday, Feb. 12 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Rex, whose identity is still a secret to common folks like myself, will arrive to Julia Street aboard a New Orleans Public Belt train in a vintage rail car at 6:00 p.m. He will give a traditional proclamation to quit working and start partying (paraphrasing), and he will receive the key to the city before the traditional greeting of Zulu royalty. Then there’s fireworks!
After the pomp and circumstance has finished, the crowds move up to St. Charles Avenue to catch the night parades of the Krewes of Proteus and Orpheus.
Then, once the last bead is thrown, we go to sleep and do it all over again in the morning because that was only Monday.
Zulu Lundi Gras Festival Entertainment Lineup
King Zulu Stage (Woldenberg Park-Great Lawn)
Master of Ceremony – Mr. Dorian Rawles
10:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m. – DJ Jubilee
12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. – Pin Stripe Jazz Band
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. – The New Orleans Mystics & the Ladies of Soul
3:30 p.m. – 3:445 p.m. – All Stars Company from Santiago de Cuba Dance Group
3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys
5:00 p.m. – 5:25 p.m. – King & Queen Zulu Arrival
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Rebirth Brass Band
Zulu Golden Nugget Stage (Pavilion)
Master of Ceremony – Mr. Miles McWilliams
10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. – Zulu Ensemble
11:00 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. – DJ Polo
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Big Frank & Lil Frank
2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. – Ed Perkins Band
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Original Pinettes Brass Band
5:15 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Dwayne Doopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers
Liberty Bank Kid's Stage (Aquarium Plaza-near Canal St.)
Master of Ceremony – Mr. Alvin Mulder
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – DJ Green
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Free Face Painting
1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. – West Jefferson High School Band
2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. – West Jefferson High School Dance Team
2:50 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – XS Martial Arts Dojo
3:05 p.m. – 3:50 p.m. – Lincoln Elementary School for the Arts
4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. – Young Audiences Charter School Dance Teams
5:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. – Young Audiences Charter School Band
The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk Lundi Gras Lineup
Julia Street Entrance at Convention Center Boulevard
2:15 p.m. – Rockin' Dopsie Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters
4:15 p.m. – Cowboy Mouth
6:00 p.m. – Arrival of Rex, King of Carnival