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Friday, December 22, 2006

Taylor Hicks, The Soulman to serve as Endymion's Grand Marshal

Taylor Hicks has been asked to serve as the Grand Marshal, of the city's largest Carnival group during the 2007 Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Endymion Captain Ed Muniz says on the Endymion website, "63.4 million people voted for Taylor as their American Idol. He will be a great ambassador to show America and the world that New Orleans is open to visitors. He is eager to be a part of our celebration, and we are excited to welcome him".

Giving credit to this famous Mardi Gras club, prior to the krewe's inception, in 1969, enthusiasm for the New Orleans Carnival was lagging and tourism dollars dwindling. By 1974 the Endymion Krewe had developed some of the largest floats ever assembled, and began the trend current now, in the Mardi Gras scene, glitzy, extravagant costumes, and the raining down of massive quantities of Mardi Gras 'loot', beads, trinkets and the like that all who attend the parades covet. I still have my bangles and beads collected in 2003! Known for bringing the glitz and glamour to Carnival the Endymion Krewe brings to the scene Nationally popular, current entertainers, as well as including local musicians in their line-up. This said, I think it's a fitting honor for Taylor Hicks to be invited to sit as Grand Marshal for this club. Similar to how the Endymion Krewe breathed new life back into Carnival for New Orleans, Taylor Hicks is working to breathe life and soul back into real music. Appropriate too, because afterall, Taylor's journey into National recognition began, in a way, in New Orleans. He was in the Crescent City to attend a wedding shortly before Hurrican Katrina struck the city, August 29, 2005. Airport and flight delays delivered a free plane ticket which he later used to fly to Las Vegas for the American Idol audition.

Delving into the mythology of Endymion, Taylor Hicks fans will love the story behind the krewe's namesake. It seems Endymion was, according to Greek mythology, the handsomest man. He has been named God of eternal youth and fertility. Some versions describe him as king, others as a shepherd. The moon goddess Selene, as the story goes, was so smitten with Endymion's beauty that she put him into a perpetual sleep so that she could kiss him whenever she wished. Apparently they created in the neighborhood of 50 daughters. Mythology, ever fun, never boring.

The Endymion Extravaganza will be held on February 17, 2007 at the Louisiana Superdome. Tickets are $150 per person and the attire is formal (black tie for men, floor-length evening dress for ladies). For tickets please contact Endymion via e-mail at tickets@endymion.org or call 504-736-0160.

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