New Orleans, LA

The Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club, Inc. resumes its annual Mardi Gras Coronation Ball in February

Le Voir N. Lewis

The Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club, Inc. is excited to return its Annual Coronation Ball to the City of New Orleans and its Mardi Gras guests.

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Krewe of Zulu Parade floatBradley Williams

The Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club, Inc. is proud to present its annual coronation Mardi Gras Ball. The event goes down in history as the best social event during Mardi Gras. The 2022 Zulu Coronation Ball will be held on Friday, February 25, 2022 at the New Orleans Convention Center, starting at 6 PM.

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Louis, with cigar and scepter, as King of the Zulus March 1, 1949.by the Louis Armstrong Fellows

THE HISTORY

In the early 1900s, the city of New Orleans was divided into wards and each ward had its own group or club. The Tramps were one of the groups in the ward. After seeing a skit, they retired to their meeting place (a room in the rear of a restaurant/bar in the 1100 block of Perdido Street), premiering as the Zulus. The group consisted of members from the Tramps, the Benevolent Aid Society, and other ward-based groups.

While this new club marched in Mardi Gras as early as 1901, their first appearance as Zulus came in 1909 with William Story as King.

The first time Zulus used floats in the parade was in 1915, constructed on a spring wagon and using dry good boxes. The float was decorated with palmetto leaves, moss, and carried four Dukes alongside the King.

In the 1960’s, during the height of Black awareness, it was unpopular to be a Zulu. Dressing in a grass skirt and presenting in black face was seen as truly demeaning in Black culture. Large numbers of black organizations protested against the Zulu organization and its membership dwindled to 16 men. James Russell, a long-time member, served as president during this period and is credited with holding the organization together, slowly bringing Zulu back to the forefront of clubs and organizations in New Orleans.

In the late 1960s, Zulu became the first African-American parade to march down St. Charles and Canal Street.

“Zulu is the meaning of Mardi Gras to New Orleans because of its history with Mardi Gras parades,” said former University athlete Tyrann Mathieu. “Ever since I was little, Zulu has been the biggest part of my Mardi Gras memories.”

Zulu has grown tremendously over the years. This continual growth is credited to the members for their love, loyalty, and dedication to this organization. They are also contributing members of the communities they reside in.

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The Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, Inc. 2018 Zulu BallPhoto via Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, Inc. Facebook page

Following the crowning of King Zulu 2022 and Queen Zulu 2022, all in attendance at the 2022 Zulu Coronation Ball will be entertained by the sounds of legendary R & B artists: Stephanie Mills, Dru Hill, Tamia, and Keith Sweat. The evening will include the sounds of DJ Jubliee and DJ Polo504.

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Writer of supernatural fiction, pop culture, food and beverage topics, spirituality | former restaurant manager & bartender | current Resource Planner in NOLA

New Orleans, LA
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