Mardi Gras 2017: Endymion to feature KISS, Flo Rida, KC and the Sunshine Band

KISS Arrives at SIRIUS Radio
Gene Simmons (left), Paul Stanley, Eric Singer, Tommy Thayer of KISS arrives at the SiriusXM offices in New York in October 2012. (Amanda Schwab, AP Photo/Starpix)

The Krewe of Endymion, the 51-year-old Mardi Gras super krewe, will celebrate 2017 with hard rock, hip hop and disco, as KISS, Flo Rida, and KC and the Sunshine Band entertain at the annual Extravaganza after the Mid-City parade on Feb. 25, the Saturday before Fat Tuesday (Feb. 28).

Krewe founder Ed Muniz said that the Extravaganza entertainers are always invited to ride in the enormous parade, where they serve as celebrity grand marshals. Some accept the invitation. Some decline, fearful of ruining their voices in advance of their post-parade performances, or because riding in the parade doesn't allow time for sound checks, Muniz said.

Endymion treasurer Joe Travato said KISS frontman Gene Simmons was the parade's grand marshal in 2005. KISS had been scheduled to ride in the Endymion 1979 parade, before the police strike in New Orleans forced the krewe leadership to move the parade to Kenner. In the end, the band did not appear that year.

Muniz announced that 2017 will be KC and the Sunshine Band's fourth Endymion appearance.

At Endymion Extravaganza 2016, Pitbull and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler performed at the annual party at the Mercedes Benz Superdome.

With 81 floats, 3,200 riders, and a budget of $7 million, Endymion is the largest Mardi Gras parade. It is also the only parade to roll on a route from Mid-City to downtown New Orleans.

Illuminated with high-tech lighting effects and even rolling video screens, Endymion is also the most avant-garde parade. This year lighting designer Ray Ziegler promised a lavish lighting update of the signature Captain Eddy's S.S. Endymion float.

In addition, for the first time, the parade will be led by a rolling spotlight truck that will project the krewe's logo, a cartoon shepherd, onto the clouds a la the Batman signal. That's if there are clouds. Ziegler said that if not, the spotlight handlers may have to project the image on buildings as the parade passes.

The theme of Endymion 2017 will be "The Constellations," with floats decorated with celestial symbols, such as a blue bear for the constellation Ursa Minor, twin cherubs for Gemini, and a huge fly for Musca. 

Watch the announcements as they were made at the Wednesday morning (Sept. 7) press conference at Mardi Gras in the Facebook Live video post below.