Don’t reign on her parade: Student serves as Queen of Endymion

Cori Shalit, Arcade Editor

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The Krewe of Endymion, one of the three “Super Krewes” and the largest parade of Mardi Gras, announced its 2019 Queen of Endymion to be Tulane University sophomore Alexandra Kenny. Next time you’re in class, look around for royalty. You might be in the presence of Her Majesty Meghan Markle who?

Does it run in the family? Actually, Kenny’s father, a Tulane University School of Law alumnus, has been a Krewe member for more than 20 years. When Kenny was six years old, her father even put her name on a list to secure his daughter a spot for Queen in the future.

Adding to the magnitude of Kenny’s position and the difficulty for a student to secure a spot as a member of parade royalty, the krewe is all-male except for the queen and four maids. Last year, Kenny rode the floats as a maid, but this year she is taking the spotlight. In the 53 years that the Krewe of Endymion has rolled through Mardi Gras, Kenny is one of only three to be a Tulane student.

Alexandra Kenny at the Coronation Ball

If you thought it was hard to manage your schoolwork and extracurriculars, imagine the obligations of royalty. In October, Kenny had to attend an introductory luncheon with the court, and a coronation ball followed in January.

“Also the queen of Endymion is required to throw her own “queen’s party” a few weeks before the parade,” Kenny said.

After that, there is the parade itself, and the “Extravaganza.” The Extravaganza, held at the Mercedes Benz Superdome, is essentially a post-parade party. It is known for hosting well-known performers such as Anderson Cooper, Kelly Ripa, Maroon 5, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Steven Tyler, Pitbull, Kiss and Flo-Rida. The event keeps all 20,000 of its guests entertained until 3:30 a.m., when the performances end.

Kenny is most looking forward to riding through the New Orleans streets during the parade.

“I learned from being a maid last year how incredible this experience is,” she said. “The queen and maids all have gorgeous custom costumes made just for us by the krewe!”

The parade will start Saturday, March 2 on Orleans Avenue, kicking off the day with Samedi Gras, a large block party, and then embarking on the Mid City route. It features nearly 40 floats and more than 3,000 riders.

The Queen’s Krewe of Endymion parade costume

The Endymion website brags their motto “Throw ‘til it Hurts,” estimating more than 15 million throws to parade-goers. Last year, the Krewe of Endymion presented the largest float in Mardi Gras history, at 365 feet long. This year, it plans on, again, providing the largest float in the Carnival celebration.

The parade has impressed festival-goers since it first rolled in 1967, and the Krewe is sure to attract an enormous crowd again this year as a favorite of locals and Tulane students alike.