NEW ORLEANS -- A dazzling fireworks display marked the culmination of another Lundi Gras celebration at the New Orleans riverfront, where Rex, the King of Carnival, officially assumed his throne.
"On behalf of the people of New Orleans, I am gonna bestow unto you the key to the city so that you will rule for the day," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu, speaking to this year’s Rex, Bill Hines.
During the ceremony at Spanish Plaza, Carnival dignitaries recognized Rex and King and Queen Zulu, Cedric and Monica Givens.
Rex arrived at the riverfront a little before 6 p.m., while King and Queen Zulu, Cedric and Monica Givens, made their grand entrance about an hour earlier.
The arrivals are part of a long-standing Lundi Gras tradition, and this year’s royalty are thrilled by the entire experience.
"For anyone that's from the city and has grown up, as a child, watching Mardi Gras, and I'm 56 years old, and to think some day you would be King of Carnival. It's really the greatest feeling you could have," Hines said.
"This is so exciting. This is so much fun. I'm enjoying it," said King Zulu, Cedric Givens, who shared a message for all, as Fat Tuesday approaches.
"Happy Mardi Gras and have a safe one. And come out to see me tomorrow," he said.
Rex’s queen this year is Nina O’Brien Sloss.