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Bill Might Revive Custom of Coconut Tossing

April 24, 1987

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) _ For two years, high insurance rates have squelched the Mardi Gras tradition of tossing decorated coconuts from floats in the Zulu parade.

But a state senator filed a bill Thursday to try to revive the custom.

Coconuts tossed by Zulu - an all black Carnival organization that started decades ago as a satire of white, high society Mardi Gras clubs - are among the most treasured of the trinkets thrown from floats each year.

But Zulu stopped tossing coconuts because the organization can’t afford liability insurance covering injuries to anyone attending its annual parade.

Sen. William Jefferson’s bill provides that any person attending or participating ″in an organized parade of floats or persons assumes the risk of being struck by any missile whatsoever which is traditionally thrown, tossed, or hurled in such a parade. The items shall include but are not limited to beads, cups, coconuts and doubloons.″

A committee could consider the bill next week.

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