All Around Town
Zulu Celebrates Fantasy & Adventure
Royalty and revelry — and sometimes relatives — go hand in glove in New Orleans, and such was the recent case when the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club Inc. held its annual coronation ball and hailed George V. Rainey as King Zulu Elect 2019 and Kailyn L. Rainey, daughter of Oscar Rainey and Michelle Patterson, as Queen Zulu Select. King Zulu 2019 is her majesty’s grandfather.
The ball, which was held in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, was titled “Zulu Celebrates Fantasy & Adventure.” Royal status was ensured at the coronation ado when Queen Zulu 2018 Troye M. Washington crowned Miss Rainey, and King Zulu 2018 Brent D. Washington Sr. crowned Mr. Rainey. All hail!
The format of the festivity commenced with an opening prayer by chaplain Jefferson Reese Sr. Subsequently, Dennis Robertson Jr., chairman of Carnival activities for the organization, blew the traditional whistle to start the glorious gallivanting and the Marine Corps Band, New Orleans, played “The Star-Spangled Banner.” More notables were Clifton Jones, coronation coordinator; Clarence A. Becknell Sr., Zulu historian emeritus, as well as the evening’s master of ceremonies; and Elroy A. James, president of Zulu, who presented the welcome address. Introductions of the officers and board of directors, Zulu characters and the coronation chairman followed.
Introduced by Dr. Michael McKnight, Brian Lapeyrolerie and the Rev. Alvin Maulder, the Zulu maids were Misses Kayla A. Gilbert, Alex G. Smith, Sydney M. Borne, Abria A. Celestine, Zara A. Clark, Jordyn M. Crockett, Jaylynn S. Dibble, Laila J. Howard, Keirsten L. Kelly, Kelsey D. Lash, Yunique X. Lloyd, Paige A. Luster, Jordan C. McFarland, Milan A. Poydras, Nishell K. Riley, Trinity M. Rogers, Layla X. Sterling, Myliah O. Surratt, Angelica S. Williams and Ariadne S. Wordsworth.
The royal court of his majesty included Larry A. Hammond, Darrin Blue, Jerome Jones, Erma Owens, Jay H. Banks, Jimmie Felder, Larry Rainey Sr., Larry Barabino, Reginald White, Elvin Green, Irvin D. Fulton Jr., Michael Johnson, Raymond J. Manson, Willie Powell, James Singleton, Fred Bell, Reuben De’Tiege, Emanuel Esteves Jr., Jason Horn, James Howard, Harlin Miller, Roderick Mitchell, Kevin Roy, Jerron Rush, Travis D. Taylor Sr., Joe Weed, Laryon Darnell, Earl Gilmore, Kaiden Rainey, Me’Kai Rosemore and Rashad Warner.
Royal father Oscar J. Rainey figured in her majesty’s court, as did Josh LeBlanc, Artelia B. Banks, Joan Rainey, Karen Gilmore, Jaz Hall, Marlee Jackson, Gia Rainey, Kelsey Rainey, Derek Rabb, Darryl Richardson, Cardell Thomas, Andrew Wilson, Dwight Butler, Hebert Dunbar, Gerald Miles, Terry Russell, Darrell K. Sims, Doc Sterling, Kamali Douglas, Nili Boseman, Laila G. LaCabe and Kymani Singleton.
All admired the exquisite finery of King Zulu and Queen Zulu.
Within the audience of approximately 25,000 were many dignitaries, who observed the recognition of sponsors, the presentations and the night’s entertainment: recording artists Jeffrey Osborne, Monica & D Nice.
As Carnival came to a close, many royal duos experienced extraordinary experiences, ones that will be cherished and remembered for ages to come. Such will be the case for the 2019 Zulu majesties, king and queen Rainey, and their memorable reign.
Considered one of the highlights of the Carnival season, the annual Dansant of the Townsmen Inc. delivered fun and formality for the 65th year. The anniversary celebration unfolded, as it has for years, in the Omni Royal Orleans. The hotel also served an array of gustatory pleasures, fine food and beverages, all adding to the party picture.
Among the choice moments of the evening were those in tribute to Leon Fulton, who was honored for his 36 years as a Townsmen member. Joining him was his wife, Alma. Now, he will be recognized as an emeritus member. As a new member, Dr. Eric D. Griggs (with Danielle) was welcomed.
Among the Townsmen’s guests were Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Ancar, Mr. and Mrs. Wayne DeLarge, Mr. and Alden McDonald Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Trege, Mr. and Mrs. David Bocage, Mr. and Mrs Thomas Hyde, Mr. Keith Pittman and Judge Robin Pittman, Mr. Edwin Murray, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Shorter, Mr. Howard L. Rodgers IV and Dr. Lovie Lewis Rodgers, Mr. Cornelius Lewis and Dr. Karen Lewis, Mr. and Mrs. Greg McKnight, the David Singletons, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Stevenson and Judge Piper Griffin. During the course of the four hours of festivities, they made rounds, catching up with their friends and visiting the food stations. When it was time to dance, they obliged with alacrity.
The elected officers for 2019 were introduced to the guests with Earl S. Brown Jr. (with wife Michelle) answering to president. Others were Vice President Ronald J. Sholes (with Valerie), Secretary Howard L. Rodgers III (with Belinda), Treasurer Walter F. Wright, and Wayne E. Wright, Dansant chairman and Keeper of the Seal. Anthony De Cuir (with Saraphine) is the chaplain.
Additional members were Justin T. Augustine III, Dr. Joseph Bouie with Leslie, Dr. Emmett Chapital with Jovita, Michael Dukes with Sylvia, Albert Ely Edwards II with Dantrelle, Preston Edwards with Rosa, Bryan Fulton with Conchetta, Charles Kennedy, Charles Rice Jr. with Vonda, Jonathan A. Wilson Jr. with Erica and Dr. Woodrow J. Wilson Jr. with Paulette.
“A good time” was often repeated for the 65th bash, which requested as attire “business suits only” for the men and "cocktail dresses only” for their ladies.
Because it is billed as a “Cocktail Dansant,” dancing was integral to the overall delights. Described as doing “an excellent job,” the Clark Knighten Band 4x4 played a slew of favorite numbers. Almost no one could resist night moves to the “Electric Slide,” “Blow Your Whistle” and line dancing.