events Mardi Gras

It’s Samedi Gras in Mid-City. Here’s what you need to know before Endymion rolls.

Endymion announces the parade in 2020 (Camille Barnett, Mid-City Messenger)

Samedi Gras, also know as Endymion Day, will start out cloudy, but the National Weather Service predicts revelers will see some sun and enjoy temperatures near 63 degrees. As the parade is rolling, it will be mostly cloudy with a low around 55 and calm winds. 

The pre-parade Samedi Gras block party on the Orleans Avenue neutral ground local bands, will feature the Bucktown All-Stars, the Topcats and the Groovy 7 starting at noon.

At about 3 p.m., the riding celebrities and krewe captain join in to address the crowd. The parade starts at 4:15 p.m (see the route below).

Endymion

No one in Mid-City would argue with the superkrewe’s claim that it attracts the largest crowd in Carnival. The one remaining major Mid-City parade draws more than a million spectators, according to krewe estimates. Sometimes revelers are 25 to 35 deep on both sides of the parade.

Endymion was founded in 1967 as a small neighborhood parade. By 1974, it had reached superkrewe status.

It is the namesake of Endymion, a handsome mortal so adored by the goddess of the moon he was granted eternal youth. The Endymion parade inspires the same level of adoration on the Saturday before Mardi Gras.

The Green Ray float. (Zach Brien, Mid-City Messenger file photo)
The parade

Endymion features 81 floats. Its 3,200 riders take the krewe’s motto — “Throw ’til It Hurts” — seriously. More than 15 million throws are tossed from the floats during each parade, according to the krewe’s website.

The theme of the 55th Endymion parade is “Legends of Fire and Ice” The floats  will feature state-of-the-art fiber optic lighting, and some incorporate billowing smoke, flying confetti and animated props.

The route
Endymion route (via ready.nola.gov)
    • Start (4:15 p.m.): Orleans and City Park avenues
    • Proceed down Orleans Ave.
    • Right on N. Carrollton Avenue
    • Left on Canal Street
    • Right on Elk Place
    • Continue onto Loyola Avenue
    • Rght on Girod St.
    • END: Superdome

Before the parade begins or when crowd size warrants, the New Orleans Police Department will close the route to vehicles.

Plan ahead if you live along the parade route and need to use your car on Saturday.

Parade regulations

Endymion adoration has inspired some fans to hold their Orleans Avenue spots for weeks in advance of the parade, creating a Mid-City tradition symbolized by the Krewe of Chad. The City Council seemed to have the Krewe of Chad in mind when it passed some new and revised Carnival regulations in 2020.

New regulations state that chairs, ladders and canopy tents cannot be placed earlier than four hours before the start of a parade and must not block intersections. And there’s no sectioning off areas of the neutral ground or other public property.

Additionally, residents should not leave ladders, tents, grills or any other item on the neutral ground or along curbs and sidewalks overnight. Anything left will be disposed of.

Grills also need to be placed at least 6 feet back from the street curb. The hot coals should never be placed in public litter cans or left on the neutral ground. Ladders are required to be structurally sound and cannot be fastened together.

A rider on the title float hands a stuffed animal to a crowd member . (Zach Brien, Mid-CIty Messenger file photo)
First-aid stations

Two first-aid station will operate Saturday, opening one hour before the first float and operating until crowds disperse. You can find first-aid at these locations:

  • North Carrollton Avenue & Bienville Street
  • Broad and Canal streets

First-aid stations are staffed by the New Orleans Health Department, Emergency Medical Services, the Medical Reserve Corps, NOLA Ready Volunteer Corps and the American Red Cross. Stop by if you need medical assistance.

If you have or encounter a medical emergency during the parade, call 911 or tell the nearest first-responder.

(Zach Brien, MidCity Messenger file photo)
Lost children

Lost-children stations are staffed by the New Orleans Police Department. Because most families are quickly reunited near the area they were separated, residents are encouraged to tell the nearest public safety official if a child is lost.

On Saturday, lost-children stations are open one hour before the first float of the first parade and until crowds disperse at these locations:

• Canal Street and North Pierce Street
• Canal Street and North Broad Street
• Poydras Street and Loyola Avenue.

Parking

On Saturday, parking will be prohibited on either side of the following streets from 6 a.m. until two hours after the Endymion parade ends:

• Canal Street from Carrollton Avenue to St. Charles Avenue
• North Carrollton Avenue from Canal Street to Orleans Avenue
• Orleans Avenue from City Park Avenue to North Carrollton Avenue

Parking is also restricted along the entire parade route two hours before and after Endymion rolls to ensure parade krewes and sanitation crews can access the street. More parking and transportation information is available here.

If your driveway is blocked or other parking infractions are preventing you from getting around, call the Department of Public Works parking enforcement at 504-658-8100. The line is answered 24 hours a day.

An Enymion rider scans the crowd. Zach Brien, Mid-City Messenger file photo)
Public restrooms

Endymion spectators can find them along the parade route on Orleans Avenue; on Canal Street at Norman Francis Parkway, Broad Street, Galvez Street, Claiborne Avenue; and in the CBD. View a map of restroom locations at routewise.nola.gov.

Portable restrooms are allowed on private property. However, a permit is needed to charge a fee.

Private portable restrooms are not allowed on neutral grounds, public sidewalks or other public property. Portable restrooms on flat beds in parking spots are considered abandoned property that can pose a security risk and will be towed at the owners’ expense.

Staying informed

The New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness will provide public information leading up to and during Mardi Gras events. Tips and resources about transportation, safety, what to bring, and permitting are outlined online at ready.nola.gov/mardi-gras.

Real-time updates related to weather, safety, traffic, and parade delays will be provided on Twitter @nolaready and via text message. Residents and visitors are encouraged to text MARDIGRAS to 888777 to subscribe to text updates.

Go to routewise.nola.gov to track the parade in real time.

 

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