Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS -- It was a wild day that started before dawn as the 1400 riders with the Krewe of Zulu boarded over 50 floats.
The sun wasn't up yet, but the spirits were.
"Oh my God. This is my second year riding, and it is just a fabulous tradition and beautiful day," said Marci Schramm, "Oh my God."
"Nobody's craizer than me, gotta be me, I guess. Happy Mardi Gras."
Zulu President David Belfield said they throw "thousands" of coconuts during the parade. "Gotta get one. They're real special. Gotta get one."
Zulu hit the road and rode into bedlam. Huge crowds swamped the float, pressing right up to the huge moving vehicle, in the urgent quest for Zulu Coconuts. The float was so loaded there was almost no room for the riders.
"But what the crowd doesn't know is that I only give the premium throws, the coconuts, to the kids," said Michael Smith. "It's a lifetime memory."
"We got 24 riders on here, and I would say each one has an average of 200 to 250 pounds of throws," said Float 'O' Captain Lance Perkins.
It seemed the crowd grew every block, their "Throw me something!" screams getting louder, and the riders, especially those on a float for the first time, tried to make sure everyone got something.
"I'm from Chicago, Illinois, and we have nothing like this in Chicago," said Cecelia. "What's going through your mind right now? Just the amazing amount of heart that you can feel from this city.
"I am so happy to to see the families, and the children," added Geraldine Perkins.
We've turned onto Canal Street. I'm losing my voice, my lips are tired from smiling. We've been on the road for two and a half hours, and these are the biggest crowds yet. Riding in Zulu is just stupendous.
When they ran out of throws at the end, this rider decided to throw currency, not doubloons, but real money, ones, fives, tens and twenties to the shocked crowd. You can truly say there's no other parade like Zulu.