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Fun Things to Do in New Orleans: Zulu Lundi Gras Festival

Home New Orleans Events Fun Things to Do in New Orleans: Zulu Lundi Gras Festival

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The Krewe of Zulu

Mardi Gras Krewes are so much more than just awesome parades. They give a unique framework to make celebration come alive for the New Orleanians, allowing them to enjoy amazing times surrounded by their family and friends. These organizations create lasting bonds that bring members together during Carnival season to express themselves, share experiences, and simply have fun. There is no denying that they add an extra dose of color and vibrancy to the city of New Orleans while providing visitors with some incredible entertainment too. Undoubtedly, the largest Mardi Gras Krewes are one of the most exciting things to do during Carnival season.

For over a century, the Krewe of Zulu has been shining its joyous spotlight on New Orleans’ Black community. Breath-taking in every respect, their legendary Mardi Gras parade celebrates and honors an age-old tradition with creative flair. Yet for this krewe, it’s about much more than celebrations — the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club also provides valuable infrastructure year-round, to ensure that everyone can come together as one big family during each festival season.

Welcome to the Zulu Lundi Gras Festival

Parade members and costumes at the Zulu Lundi Gras Festival

King Zulu began his reoccuring journey to the Basin Canal on Mardi Gras day in 1917, when James Robertson assumed the title as king. The tradition of King Zulu arriving by boat endured for almost eight decades until 1993, when the Zulu Lundi Gras Festival was established. Today, tradition holds that King Zulu arrive on the evening of Lundi Gras (a day before Mardi Gras Day), on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter to symbolize a joyous and triumphant celebration throughout New Orleans. It is an incredible sight to behold and one that brings communities together during this time every year. 

This expansive new event would allow Zulu fans to get a better look at the iconic Zulu royalty and characters the day before the parade. There were vendors selling delicious food items, live musicians playing great tunes, and other entertainments for guests to enjoy. All of this would take place at Woldenberg Park, an open grassy space along the Mississippi River on the border between Canal Street and the French Quarter. By its fifth year, the Zulu Lundi Gras Festival had become a major success and a new Mardi Gras institution.  


Zulu Lundi Gras Festival entertainment

This year, the Zulu Lundi Gras Festival is set to be an exciting and memorable event, with two stages dedicated to live music performances by some of the region’s best artists. The star-studded lineup includes renowned local performers such as Brass-A-Holics, Kirmit Ruffins, and even hip-hop artist DJ Jubilee. Meanwhile, kids and their families can enjoy the entertainment at the Kid’s Stage including live music, arts & crafts, and drama production put on by local youths.

Adding even more fun to this cultural celebration are several beloved characters from the Krewe of Zulu parade such as Mr. Big Stuff, the Witch Doctor, and the Big Shot making regular appearances at each stage throughout the day. To top it off, a variety of delicious food truck treats will be available for festivalgoers to enjoy. 

Schedule & Details

The 2023 Zulu Lundi Gras Festival will take place on February 20th, offering a full day of fun and entertainment for everyone to enjoy. Starting at 10 AM and coming to a close at 6:30 PM, revelers can expect a full day of parades, music, dancing, and more. Later in the afternoon is the highlight of the festival: King Zulu’s arrival at the Zulu Stage from 5:10-5:25 PM. This FREE event will be one to remember and is not to be missed. Come to Woldenberg Park located at 1 Canal Street so you won’t miss out on any of the festivities that are sure to be a blast. Bring your family and friends so you can all share in this magnificent celebration together! 

Learn More About Louisiana

The Zulu Lundi Gras Festival is set against a magnificent backdrop courtesy of the Mississippi River. Anyone who is curious about the incredible ecosystem that this mighty river sustains in Southeastern Louisiana should book a Honey Island Swamp Tour. These tours introduce guests to the jaw-dropping flora and fauna that thrive in Louisiana’s Gulf Coast swamps, including alligators and cypress trees.

With knowledgeable tour guides, you can witness first-hand an array of native animals and plants, from alligators to cypress trees. Plus, your swamp tour with Pearl River Swamp Tours is guaranteed to be an exciting and safe journey into the wetlands. Get ready for an unforgettable experience and book your swamp tours New Orleans today! 

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