Krewe of Endymion

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The St. Augustine High School "Marching 100" marching in Endymion.

The Krewe of Endymion is one of only three Super Krewes, defined by spectacular floats and celebrity Grand Marshals, and is the largest of the 80 or so parades participating in New Orleans Mardi Gras. Many people begin saving their viewing spots for this parade several days before the parade actually rolls. It was founded in 1966 and named after Endymion {en-dim'-ee-uhn}, from Greek mythology.

Its motto, "Throw Until it Hurts", defines a tradition of being extremely generous with its throws, tossing millions of beads, cups, doubloons and trinkets during its annual parade, held the Saturday before Mardi Gras.

The parade is immediately followed with a spectacular party called the 'Endymion Extravaganza', which rivals anything that Las Vegas offers. It was held from 1974 to 1980 at the now demolished Rivergate Convention Center. Since 1981, it has been held in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, except in 2006 when it was held at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center due to repairs to the Superdome after being damaged from Hurricane Katrina and also in 2011 due to the final Phase 3 renovations to the Superdome. The Krewe returned to the Superdome in 2012. In recent years, the krewe has had over 2500 members and over 20,000 guests at its Extravaganza. They are three of the famous krewes.

The first Endymion parade rolled on February 4, 1967 in the Gentilly neighborhood near the New Orleans Fair Grounds horse racing facility. The parade remained on its original route until 1975, when it was shifted to its now traditional Mid-City route, rolling from Orleans Avenue to North Carrollton Avenue to Canal Street, disbanding at the site of the Extravaganza.

The 1979 parade was moved to the Jefferson Parish suburb of Kenner due to a strike by the New Orleans Police Department which forced the cancellation of a large number of parades within the city, including fellow "super krewe" Bacchus and all of the old-line parades, led by Rex, King of Carnival.

The 2006 and 2007 parades were forced to the Uptown route along St. Charles Avenue due to a lack of manpower within the NOPD in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Endymion returned to Mid-City in 2008 and is the only remaining parade in the New Orleans city limits which does not use the Uptown route.

New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson was Grand Marshal of the 2010 parade only six days following his franchise's victory in Super Bowl XLIV over the Indianapolis Colts. Benson was the first celebrity Grand Marshal not from the entertainment industry.

Endymion has a rich tradition of celebrity Grand Marshals:

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