Revelers set up spots early for Endymion

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Friday morning, more than 24 hours before the Krewe of Endymion was set to roll down Canal St., Paul Brackains was out on the neutral ground a few blocks away from his family home with caution tape.

He was busy scoping out how much space he needed to rope off in order to lay claim to the perfect parade spot.

“I’ve been in Mid-City all my life. This is just what we do,” Brackains said. “It’s good to be out here and have your spot solidified so you can set up all your food and everything.”

He and his family has set up the same spot for at least 20 years. With Endymion coming back after its two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, he expects up to 60 loved ones to show up and to be well fed.

“All the essential New Orleans cuisine, we are going to have it all and then some,” he said.

All along Canal St. other revelers have roped off, painted off, or marked off their spot for the Saturday night parade. Some are even holding down the fort until roll time like Joseph Anzelamo.

The retired dentist and his family has been at the same location on the streetcar line for 30 years now.

“People would drive up in their car and stop on Friday and say ‘What time is the parade tonight?’ I would say ‘The parade is not tonight, it’s tomorrow.’ Then they would drive off with a bewildered look on their face like ‘Who are these nutty, crazy people?’ I’m one of them,” he said.

In years past, Anzelamo says he’s slept out the Friday before parade day, since families would try their best to section off a spot on the neutral ground. This year, he says the amount of people aren’t anywhere near where it was in years past, but that hasn’t stopped people like Yvette Gauthreaux from having fun.

Gauthreaux and her two friends set up a Girls Day at their roped off section of the Canal St. neutral ground. The trio spent the morning singing karaoke and celebrating the season, something they’ve done for 16 years.

“We just come out here and have full all day. It’s Girls’ Day,” she said. “(The dads) come out early in the morning because they bring all the heavy stuff like the tables and tents.”

While some are waiting for the parade as a group, others are taking shifts guarding their Endymion spots, like Christian Rodriguez.

“We spray painted a spot Tuesday night, taped in last night, and have been out here since 6 a.m.,” Rodriguez said. “We need to be here and make sure we got the space because it’s going to be a big whole thing for us.”

The parade-goers say the whole process takes planning and a whole lot of time but it’s all worth it, especially since they haven’t done it in 2 years.

“Even if I’m here all alone, all day, I’m happy to be sitting here on the neutral ground instead of at work,” Rodriguez said.

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Andrés Fuentes

Andrés Fuentes

Andrés Fuentes is a New Orleans native and a 2020 graduate of Loyola University. He joined the FOX8 News Team in January 2022 as a Multimedia Journalist.