Endymion parade bulletin, March 2, 2019

Endymion 2019: Wonder Tales of Science Fiction

For the 2019 Carnival season, the Krewe of Endymion presents its theme, "Wonder Tales of Science Fiction," covering the creative late Victorian period from the mid-1800s through the first decade of the 1900s.

During this period there was an emergence of new and creative thinking in the realms of architecture, railroad systems, adventure and forward-thinking novels and plays. New inventions afforded the ability to record events and create science fiction through ingenious special effects on film – albeit, silent films. Endymion is pleased and excited to present this creative period in beautiful LED-lit artistry and imaginative figures, further complemented by its iconic state-of-the-art signature floats.

The krewe will have more than 3,250 masked revelers on 49 themed units, 21 signature units and six celebrity floats that include Endymion LIII, His Majesty’s Queen and Maids, and special guests.

This year’s Grand Marshal is American singer, songwriter and composer Flo Rida. Special guests are the 1970s and '80s Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, Chicago. Both will perform at Endymion’s Extravaganza in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome along with Lionel Richie and a host of New Orleans bands.

Endymion’s signature units include the dazzling fiber optic/LED lit captain’s float, the iconic river boat "Poppa Joe’s S.S. Endymion," the three-unit title float with its electronic LED marquee and optically lit Mardi Gras masks, "Welcome to the Mardi Gras" with its huge rotating jester head and unique scenes of New Orleans, the nine-unit, nostalgic "Pontchartrain Beach" float, which is 270 feet long and by far the largest in Mardi Gras, "Ole Man River" with illustrated and optically lit aqua scenes, the crowd-pleasing E-TV with side-by-side 8-by-20-foot HD TV screens, "Club Endymion" which depicts both the exterior of the Mercedes Benz Superdome and the excitement of Endymion’s Extravaganza and the magnificently lit S.S. Captain Eddie riverboat.

Endymion’s 49 theme floats depict "Wonder Tales of Science Fiction" through the works of numerous visionaries. Represented is the creativity of Jules Verne, the prolific French author whose writings laid much of the foundation for modern science fiction through such classics as "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" (Float 27A), "From the Earth to the Moon" (25B), "Journey to the Center of the Earth" (19A), "Paris in the Twentieth Century" (27B), and "Around the World in Eighty Days" (25A) to name but a few.

Of great popularity is H.G. Wells, a prolific English writer who wrote dozens of novels, short stories, books on war games and numerous science fiction novels including "War of the Worlds" (20A), "The Invisible Man" (35A), "The Time Machine" (36A), "The First Men in the Moon" (21B), "In the Days of the Comet" (20B) and many more. Wells has been called the Shakespeare of science fiction as he envisioned the advent of aircraft, space travel, biological engineering and wars with aliens. The classic "Gulliver’s Travels" (27C) and the not to be forgotten "Rip Van Winkle" (28B) are also represented.

During the last decade of the 19th century, Georges Méliès, a French filmmaker and magician, appeared on the scene and is regarded as the first person to recognize the potential of narrative film. He made approximately 520 silent films between 1896 and 1912 covering a range of genres including trick films, fantasies, comedies, costume dramas, melodramas and imaginary voyages. Méliès is well known for the use of special effects, popularizing such techniques as substitution splices, time-lapse photography, multiple exposures and hand-painted color.

Endymion has given special recognition to Méliès by dedicating about half of its theme floats to this man’s technological genius. Included are:"A Clock Maker’s Dream" (34A), "A Trip to the Moon" (17B), "The Dwarf and the Giant" (24B), "The Eclipse: Courtship of the Sun and Moon" (33A), "The Magic Book" (21A), "The Marvelous Fountain" (17A), and  "A Honeymoon in a Balloon" (16B).

Endymion will parade along its traditional Mid-City route. It will wind its way from City Park to downtown and ultimately to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome where 20,000-plus guests await the parade at the annual Endymion Extravaganza.