Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS - On the first stellar night of parade weather they've had in three years, Endymion paraded in front of massive and enthusiastic crowds and weathered some mis-steps by its prize new mammoth float.
The tribute to Pontchartrain Beach, billed as the largest float in the world, had trouble navigating the first two turns of the parade from Orleans Avenue to Carrollton Avenue and from Carrollton to Canal Street, forcing a fork lift to temporarily separate the float into two parts, before it was re-assembled after the turns. The krewe had to turn off the electrical power on the float, which was then backed up and pulled around the corner in two separate pieces.
"Right here in front of us, I saw it all happen," said Caroline Stamant, who was part of the crowd. "They broke it apart. They had all their officials here. It was really cool."
"It was huge," said Robert Jones. "I heard about it before I came out tonight, so I kind of expected it."
The crowd cheered when the float finally started moving again, but with Kelly Clarkson as grand marshall, 2,700 riders tossing fists full of throws, most felt the night was a success.
And, whether it was nostalgia for Pontchartrain Beach or just a chance to see Carnival history, most people who saw the float seemed to love it. And the delay, it seems like it's a part of every night of parading these days and it seemed a small price to pay for a nearly three-hour megawatt show.