When the Louisiana State Museum mounts a rare year-long exhibition it’s important and a cause for celebration. When it honors the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club’s 100th anniversary it’s going to be fun, fabulous and over-the-top. All of which the opening night gala was, not to mention historically and culturally significant.

Of course, there was great New Orleans-centric food from folks like Dooky Chase, Upperline and Muriel’s. The Street Gumbo and Free Agents brass bands entertained guests both in and outside the museum, then led the second-line with handkerchiefs a-waving for locals and cameras a-popping for out-of-towners. Then Deacon John and the Ivories and Jean Knight, think “Mr. Big Shot,” laid on the music and the once-staid museum rocked and rolled. The building is chock-a-block with costumes and photographs, and the organization’s history is mounted on the walls.

You may have missed this oh-so-fun patron party but don’t miss the exhibit, which continues until January 2010. The costumes alone will make you happy. The history will fascinate. Trust me, “From Tramps to Kings: 100 Years of Zulu” is a show for royalty and one worth visiting and revisiting.