NEW ORLEANS (BRPROUD) – For most of America, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, is just another day of the week. But in Louisiana, it’s Fat Tuesday.
The Zulu parade is a longtime tradition that unites the community. This was evident in the festive atmosphere and crowds of attendees lining the route in Uptown New Orleans.
A number of the paradegoers had one thing in common, they were all eager to leave with one of the event’s most prized possessions, the famous coconut or Golden Nugget.
Historians say that as one of the oldest traditionally African-American krewes, Zulu’s first parade rolled in 1909 and the following year, the Krewe began tossing coconuts to the crowd. It’s a tradition that’s continued until this day.
One spectator in attendance highlighted the importance of the coconut, telling BRProud’s Vannia Joseph, “Make sure you go out there and ask for that coconut, that’s what you want.”
Another reveler expressed a similar thought, saying, “The famous coconut of course, we trying to get it.”
Some parade goers believe there’s an art to walking away with the Golden Nugget, and Joseph spoke with one such individual who shared their advice on how to get the treasured coconut. They said, “Stay in front, and then lean back, because they do throw them, and you’ve got to duck and dodge every minute. So, that’s the game plan.”
The annual Zulu parade is a beloved tradition among locals who’ve lined the streets of the route for decades, eager to participate in the festivities.
Many feel the family-friendly traditional event has united their community over the years by bringing people together to enjoy a shared culture that involves music and dancing.
One local told Joseph, “I think that when you come here, you’re going to get an experience that you never experienced ever. You just become a whole family unit at these parades.”
Thanks to the welcoming atmosphere, even parade-goers who leave without the Golden Nugget are able to look back at the event with fondness.
Besides, anyone who leaves empty handed simply has one more reason to attend next year and give it another shot.