Dominic Massa / Eyewitness News
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @DMassaWWL
Garren and Georgette Mims seem like shy and reserved people, until the topic of Zulu comes up. Then, their eyes light up, smiles beam and you can see they are ready for the ride of a lifetime on Mardi Gras.
Both are natives of New Orleans who are honored to reign as the 98th king of Zulu and the 77th queen. Married for 20 years and the parents of three children, they are the 29th married couple to reign as Zulu royalty.
"I was asked by the president, how does it feel to be King and Queen?” Georgette Anita Lang-Mims said. “It feels great. We have a lot of people in the Zulu organization that surround us, that make sure all our needs are met. When you walk through the door, people stop what they're doing and pay attention to you."
Of course, that pales in comparison to Fat Tuesday, when the king and queen will board their floats and roll through the streets of the city, toasting the mayor at Gallier Hall and greeting the thousands of people packing the streets for Mardi Gras.
As natives, this will not be their first brush with Carnival. Georgette is a member of the Krewe of Nyx and Garren has been a member of the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club since 1995. He was elected King last May, following Zulu tradition and a vote of the membership.
"It shows that they have seen the work I've done at the Zulu Club and also in the community and appreciated that," he said.
Mims has served as an officer of the organization, and currently works as assistant treasurer, having also served as Zulu’s assistant chairman of finance and treasurer. He is also a member of several Zulu committees, including those that oversee the Lundi Gras Festival, the club’s budget as well as several committees organizing the club’s other social and charitable activities.
A graduate of McDonogh 35 Senior High School, he earned his degree in business and finance from Southern University. He has been employed with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Center of Preventive Health, Nutrition Services since 2000, where he serves as manager. He is also an associate of Danette O’ Neal Realtors, Inc. and a member of the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors and the Louisiana Realtors.
Georgette Mims is a graduate of St. Mary’s Academy High School, and a registered nurse, with a degree from Dillard University as well as a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix. For more than 20 years, she worked for the state of Louisiana, offering nursing services to poor and uninsured patients. She currently works as a clinic manager for Catholic Charities’ PACE Center-St. Cecilia. She is also a member of the local and national Black Nurses Associations, the Dillard University Professional Organization of Nurses, Oncology Nursing Society and St. Mary’s Academy Alumni Association.
Mims met her husband when the two stood as bridesmaid and groomsman in the wedding of some mutual friends, and the pair hit it off. Their second date was at church, Georgette said, and to this day they count their religion and faith among their top priorities. Both are actively involved in church activities and have volunteered at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church’s St. Jude Center for the homeless.
As Zulu monarchs, the couple has visited schools and nursing homes over the past year, sharing their experiences and encouraging young people to succeed. King and Queen Zulu themselves are the proud parents of three children: Gabrielle, 16, and sons Garren Jr., 18, and Gabriel, 12. Their own children’s schools have enjoyed visits from the King and Queen this past year.
“We tell them to stay in school and stop allowing everyone else to dictate who you are and what you are - be your best,” Georgette said.