Naturally N'Awlins: Woman's Zulu coconut creations in high demand

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Eyewitness News is very happy to announce the return of something that's been a part of WWL-TV for decades: a series created by the late Frank Davis called Naturally N'Awlins. Everybody has a story, but it seems in New Orleans, everybody has a great story.

NEW ORLEANS - Cherylyn Smith is frantically preparing coconuts for the Zulu parade, which is pretty impressive because she's not riding in the parade at all. She's ridden 28 times before, but each year she has to decide whether to decorate for others or ride herself.

"When they know I'm not riding, they hunt me down. I can't even do the Zulu Club this time of year, 'Cherylyn can you do my coconuts? Please do 'em, please do 'em.'"

One side of her shotgun double is completely empty except for coconuts and decorations.

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Hers are in high demand and before the parade rolls on February 17, she'll have filled the orders and decorated 3,000 coconuts. It's a labor of love where she sleeps only 2 to 3 hours a night.

That's a lot of glue and glitter.

"When I'm doing my coconuts, I'm not aware of the time. I might have some music going on and before I realize it I look what time it is and I say 'Oh Lord, let me do and try and get some rest."

There are hats and masks, boas and glassware and things that light up and an entire room for second line umbrellas. But it's the coconuts of every color that people that people desire.

"I do a lot for love and I do a lot more, not for the money but the excitement for people that they love coconuts because that's all they ask for on Carnival day. They don't care for beads."

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If you have a Naturally N'Awlins story idea, email Mike Hoss at mhoss@wwltv.com or Tweet him @MHossWWL.