NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The Endymion Extravaganza will be held in a different location next year as plans to renovate the Superdome will force it -- along with number of other events --to move or reschedule.
At 20,000 attendees Endymion, is one of the largest to be effected. Endymion Vice President Darryl D’Aquin said the a lot goes into the event.
“It’s a big undertaking. Mardi Gras in general is a big undertaking, and Endymion alone is a big undertaking, so it takes a lot of help,” D’Aquin said.
That’s Endymion’s team looked straight to the Morial Convention Center when they learned the Superdome would likely undergo renovations during New Orleans’ favorite season.
The State Bond Commission is expected to consider a new $450 million Superdome renovation package Thursday (Aug. 15), that would keep the Saints in New Orleans for decades to come.
“No where else can handle us,” D’Aquin said.
The convention center has hosted the krewe’s ball before, D’Aquin said, most recently in 2011.
“It’s a move. It’s a logistics change, but we know what to expect,” D’Aquin said. “It’s not too difficult for us. I think the staff at the convention center might disagree. That certainly is a lot of work for them to have all those events back to back.”
Tim Hemphill, vice president of advertising and marketing at the Convention Center, said with the addition of Endymion, they will now be hosting four balls, back to back.
“Friday we do Zulu, Saturday we will do Endymion, Sunday we will do Bacchus, then Monday we do Orpheus,” Hemphill said. “It’s just one more day. It’s a big day, but it’s one more day of work for our folks, but they do it year in and year out.”
Hemphill said they break down tables and chairs in between those four balls, but says the krewes use similar sets to make the switches more efficient. Hemphill added, the Convention Center hosts 100 events somewhat similar to the extravaganza on a regular basis, not to mention at least half a dozen other small balls during Carnival season. That includes Endymion’s coronation.
"It's what we do. It's the business we're in and we're happy to do it and all those people are great friends of ours," Hemphill explained.
While D’Aquin said Endymion is grateful for the cooperation they’ve received in relocating to the Convention Center this coming year, he said they’re eager to get back in the dome.
“There have been questions about multiple years at the Convention Center, and I just think that’s premature. That will all depend on the construction efforts and what that planning looks like after the first year,” said D’Aquin. “Our home is in the dome so, we would like to be in the Superdome as soon as we can.”
If all goes as planned, the dome will replace 80,000 square feet of concourses with stairwells, new elevators, and wider concession areas.
D’Aquin said the krewe plans to parade through the Convention Center, like Bacchus and Orpheus do now.