NEW ORLEANS-- The sights and sounds of Carnival filled the Endymion den on Saturday, as the Krewe opened its doors to members and their families. It was a sneak peek of what those along the parade route will see in just a few weeks.

'It's going to be exciting,' said Dennis Couvillon, a member of Endymion. 'I'm really looking forward to the ride. It's part of New Orleans.'

Among the floats are two new ones, along with oldies, but goodies. There are also technological improvements this year: new LED lights.

'Everyone was saying, 'Oh, it's not nearly as big as the big bulbs,' but it was much more effective,' said Endymion Captain and Founder Ed Muniz.

The lights are more effective because they work better than traditional light bulbs-- and lighting is critical for a nighttime parade like Endymion.

'The LED's are a lot brighter, they last a lot longer, so it's a great opportunity to do some things that we haven't been able to do in the past,' said Mardi Gras World CEO Barry Kern.

However, the LED's are also more expensive. Endymion spent tens of thousands of dollars outfitting the floats with the new lights. Still, Kern said such investments can pay off in the long run.

'Every year, the technology is changing,' Kern said. 'You're going to see new things happening every year, so it's going to be a lot of fun.'

Endymion's members say it's a fun part of the Carnival season that they look forward to every year.

'We're looking forward to good weather, big crowds and a big turnout,' said Brian Mahl, an Endymion member.

'It's great every year,' said Vinnie Buezo of Endymion. 'It's like Mardi Gras all over again as a young kid.'

Members of Endymion said they are also looking forward to returning to their traditional Mid-City route this year. Last year, rain forced them to re-schedule their parade and move it to the Uptown route.

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