Dominic Massa / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS - The day before Mardi Gras continues to be a party nearly as popular as Fat Tuesday itself. This year, major events are once again planned along the New Orleans Riverfront, welcoming the monarchs of Rex and Zulu. Kenner also plans a major Lundi Gras festival again this year, featuring Zulu and Argus royalty.
Kenner will feature live entertainment along the riverfront, at the foot of Williams Blvd., beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday. The monarchs of Argus and Zulu will meet at noon, for a toast with Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni. Live local entertainment will continue until 3 p.m., as well as food and crafts for sale.
Zulu will also begin its Lundi Gras events early, with music beginning at 10 a.m. at Woldenberg Park. Musicians will perform on three stages, with headliners including Kermit Ruffins (2:45 p.m.), Rebirth Brass Band (4:00 p.m.), James Rivers Movement (3:15 p.m.) and Big Al Carson & the Rare Connection (4:30 p.m.) Also, Zulu characters appear each hour in second line processions, accompanied by brass bands. There is a childrens’ stage and Zulu memorabilia and other arts and crafts are on display in an African Village. King and Queen Zulu arrive by Coast Guard cutter at 5 p.m. The event is free.
The 27th annual Lundi Gras celebration at Riverwalk begins at 3 p.m. at Spanish Plaza. The free event runs until 8 p.m. , with Cowboy Mouth headlining the event at 4:30 p.m. Other musical acts include the Brass-A-Holics (3 p.m.) and The Topcats (6:30 p.m.) Rex and his entourage arrive at 6 p.m., greeted by Carnival dignitaries and Mayor Mitch Landrieu who will, presumably, turn over control of the city to Rex for the following 24 hours.
Rex’s Riverfront arrival dates back to 1915, when his majesty was welcomed to the city by boat. Rex revived the tradition in 1971 for its centennial, but it wasn’t until 1986 when Carnival historian Errol Laborde persuaded Riverwalk and Rex to revive the tradition and expand it into a major entertainment event on the day before Fat Tuesday.