A statue of Endymion founder and captain Ed Muniz standing hand-in-hand with the cartoon mascot "Endymion man" will be unveiled Saturday morning on the campus of Delgado Community College, near the route of the mega-parade that Muniz has led for years. Endymion officers will announce a donation to the school during the event.
With 81 elaborately lit floats and 3,200 riders, Endymion is one of New Orleans’ largest and most spectacular Carnival parades. Before setting off on its annual evening roll through Mid-City, the enormous procession lines up on Orleans Avenue and Marconi Drive, adjacent to Delgado.
The “Endymion Garden” is on the edge of the Delgado campus, within 100 feet of the starting point of the parade on Orleans Avenue. The installation features the statue of Muniz with Endymion’s mascot.
The 7-foot-tall, bronze-colored statue, which was created by Kern Studios, is similar to a parade prop, according to Endymion president Dan Kelly. But it has been protected with coats of clear weatherproof paint and should last for at least 20 years.
The statue was first displayed during the krewe’s 2018 coronation ball.
On Saturday, the krewe plans to announce a donation to the community college’s education fund, according to Kelly, but neither he nor the Delgado administration have revealed the amount.
Muniz, 83, is a native of Gentilly, who made a fortune as a radio mogul and went on to become a Jefferson Parish politician and, eventually, mayor of Kenner.
Before all that, he founded a parade named for an obscure shepherd from Greek mythology. Endymion first rolled in 1967, in the Fair Grounds neighborhood, on a shoestring budget, with 16 rented floats. The parade was eventually relocated to Mid-City, where it draws enormous crowds.
Endymion found itself in the midst of heated controversy during Carnival 2023 when the krewe leadership announced that actor/director Mel Gibson would reign as co-grand marshall of the parade. After an immediate public outcry over Gibson’s history of scandals, including the use of racial slurs, Endymion announced that Gibson would not ride in the parade.
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