Post-Katrina, Mardi Gras Revels

Hurricane's shadow still looms, but New Orleans revelers make a comeback
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2008 11:50 AM CST
King Zulu, Frank Boutte, waves from his float during the Krewe of Zulu Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2008. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Super Tuesday means Mardi Gras in Louisiana today, and the New Orleans bacchanal is slowly finding its feet 3 years after Hurricane Katrina. The predominantly black Zulu parade has as its king this year a 62-year-old native who left the Big Easy for Houston after the levees broke. He's only the second king, after Louis Armstrong, to live outside of New Orleans, the Times-Picayune reports.

Frank Boutte has dozens of royal obligations as Zulu king, an elected position chosen by the members of a black social club that is back to its pre-hurricane size, and has 1,200 riders on more than two dozen floats today. As he leads the procession down Jackson Avenue, Boutte says, he'll be hopeful about returning. He adds, "If I'm not in New Orleans, wherever I am, I'll be a Zulu."