Featuring the theme “Fantastic Voyages,” the Krewe of Endymion and its more than 3,000 members showcased humanity’s strong desire to explore and better understand its surroundings Saturday with their annual parade and extravaganza.
The krewe celebrated a thirst for knowledge on Valentine’s Day, which inspired many adventures, both real and imagined. Some voyages represented in the parade include “20,000 Leagues under the Sea,” “Project Apollo,” “Columbus Discovers America,” “The Exodus from Egypt” and “Cleopatra’s Entry into Rome.”
Endymion’s 49th parade processed along the traditional Mid-City route and into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, where more than 20,000 guests danced to the music of hit maker Luke Bryan, the grand marshal, at the extravaganza. The Wise Guys, Groovy 7 and Simply Irresistible also performed. Country music superstar Bryan is the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year, the AMA’s Favorite Country Male Artist and Billboard Music Award’s Top Country Artist.
Endymion has a unique approach in the selection of its monarch. The month before it parades, members are invited to attend the coronation ball, where the queen selects her king via a blind draw.
Queen of Endymion was Her Royal Majesty Rachel Miriam Blanchard, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Solomon Blanchard Jr., and the granddaughter of Mr. Robert Moser, a charter member of the krewe. Her majesty wore a stunning gown of white peau de soie trimmed in gold braid. It featured golden beaded appliques embellished with Austrian crystals and banding, ending in a long fishtail train. Two golden birds with swirls of gold and silver tails made up her collar, with crystal stone accents and small red hearts to commemorate Valentine’s Day. A spectacular white plume headdress framed the ensemble.
Reigning as Endymion XLIX was His Majesty William Garcia.
His majesty’s costume complemented the queen’s royal attire, also made of peau de soie with the similar appliques and trim. His collar featured large silver and gold fleurs de lis (an Endymion trademark) with red and crystal stone accents and white plumes.
Maids to her majesty and the fantastic journeys they represented included Misses Tiffany Anné Forest, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Gerard Forest Jr., who represented the Apollo missions; Mallory Catherine de Lanzac, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Kraig Scott de Lanzac, who represented “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”; Sophia Dorothy Millet, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Wesley Millet Jr., who represented “Journey to the Center of the Earth”; and Callie Marie Tillis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tommy Tillis, who represented Christopher Columbus.
During the parade, Endymion also introduced several innovations to the parade, including animation, special effects, stylized lighting and its newest float, Endymion TV (E-TV). The new float featuring two 20-foot video walls that alternated between live video of the crowds gathered along the route and graphic images. It consisted of 30 LED panels and video screens with cameras on both sides to film the excited revelers as the float passed by the throngs of spectators.