Carnival leaders remember Endymion legend Ed Muniz
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A New Orleans carnival legend is mourned this weekend.
Ed Muniz died Saturday at 83 years old.
After careers in politics, as the former mayor of Kenner and member of city and parish councils, and in broadcasting, operating radio stations across six southern states, Muniz’s lasting legacy is leaving behind a brainchild that became the largest carnival organization in the city.
MORE: Endymion founder, former Kenner mayor Ed Muniz dead at 83
Carnival historian Arthur Hardy sat down with Muniz for Fox 8 in 2019 to reflect on how it all started.
“He took a very average neighborhood parade into a super krewe, one of the biggest krewes ever, so it’s not exaggeration to say we lost a giant,” said Hardy.
Endymion president and lifelong friend Dan Kelly said he remembers when he realized Muniz’s 25-year-old pipe dream had turned into something spectacular.
In 1980, when the post-parade extravaganza was still at the Rivergate, Kelly remembers counting ticket sales.
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More than 10,000 people wanted in on the party.
“Ed said to me, ‘Just send the money back to the last people who sent you an application.’ I told him, ‘I can’t do that, because I put everything in alphabetical order.’ I didn’t know who the last people were,” remembered Kelly. “You didn’t have computers back then.”
Muniz took inspiration from a racehorse when naming his krewe. Endymion won the New Orleans Handicap in 1963.
Kelly said Muniz later found out the name also represented the Greek god of youth.
Little Endymion forever holds a place next to Muniz with a memorial statue and garden dedicated in his name at Delgado Community College.
“We hope that he realizes that we were able to do it. Once we introduced that statue back for our 50th anniversary, ed had no idea that we were going to do that. He had no idea that we did do it,” said Kelly.
By Hardy’s calculations, Endymion will not skip a beat.
“We lost a really good guy and a friend to all. He was a character,” said Hardy. “He would not sit still. The last year or so were really hard on him and the family. I think everybody knows this was the time.”
Kelly carries on the krewe’s legacy, keeping his friend’s memory dear.
“I loved the guy so much that I devoted 54 years now to helping him and helping to make his vision a reality,” said Kelly. “We’re going to miss him an awful lot.”
Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.
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