Get ready to see a lot of purple, green, gold and red as we celebrate Valentine’s Day and gather for the 49th annual Endymion parade at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

I am looking forward to the coming weekend for several reasons. I live near the beginning of the Endymion parade at City Park and Orleans avenues, so my house is open to family and friends who stop by to say hello, share refreshments and depend on the ever-popular bathroom.

Valentine’s gifts will include my son, Noel, returning home to New Orleans to ride in Endymion, and my mom, Beverly, 90, who will be there to catch beads. The parade theme this year is “Fantastic Voyages,” and I wish a safe trip to Noel and his wife, Angie, who will travel from Brunswick, Georgia, and to all who will come from far and near to take part in Carnival parades and parties.

Let’s hope for good weather and remember that local laws are in play as we venture out to have fun. Watch where and how you park, keep an eye out for children and senior citizens, and by all means, walk away from troublemakers.

Let’s pray we don’t need one, but it’s good to know that the New Orleans Health Department will staff corner first-aid stations on Saturday at Orleans Avenue and North Hennessey Street; and on Sunday and Tuesday at St. Charles Avenue and Felicity Street and at Canal and Carondelet streets.

For information about Carnival regulations, public transit options and parade routes in New Orleans, visit www.nola.gov/mardigras.

St. Pius parade

St. Pius X School will present its annual Mardi Gras parade at 2:45 p.m. Friday at 6600 Spanish Fort Blvd. Hosted by the school’s Mothers’ Club, students in grades two through four will parade, and students in pre-K and first grade will be on the sidelines calling for beads. For information, visit www.stpiusxnola.org or call the school at (504) 282-2811.

Ellene Whiley exhibit

“Pass the Torch: The Art of Ellene Whiley” is a new exhibit on display during February at the Isaac Delgado Fine Arts Gallery on the City Park Campus of Delgado Community College, 615 City Park Ave., Building 1, third floor. Whiley, a local abstract expressionist artist, created bold works inspired by the work of WPA artist Norman Lewis in honor of Black History Month.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. The public is welcome and there is no admission charge. For information about the gallery, contact Brenda Hanegan, director, at (504) 671-6377 or at bhaneg@dcc.edu. For information about the Whiley exhibit, contact Myesha Francis at mfrancis@mfrancis gallery.com.

Help the Humane Society

The Humane Society of Louisiana is accepting used vehicles and boats for resale. Proceeds will benefit local and statewide programs and services, and donations are tax-deductible. For information, contact the society at info@humanela.org or call (888) 6-HUMANE.

Donations of pet food and supplies are always welcome and can be dropped off year-round at Zen Pet Retail and Grooming at 4500 Magazine St., Suite 5. The store and grooming salon will store the items and deliver them to the Humane Society every few weeks. For information, call Zen Pet at (504) 301-4736.

Lynne Jensen writes about New Orleans community events and people. Contact her at jensencolumn@gmail.com.