Huge crowds expected Saturday for Endymion, NOMTOC, Iris, Tucks and Isis

For most of the past decade, crowds on this final weekend of Carnival have surpassed those on Fat Tuesday.

Saturday features five parades starting at 10:45 a.m., when NOMTOC rolls its 46th annual procession. NOMTOC stands for “New Orleans’ Most Talked Of Club.” This predominantly black krewe will present a 21-float parade titled “The Best Things In Life.” The 425 members will toss Jug man medallions.

Carnival’s oldest female krewe, Iris, parades Uptown at 11 a.m. with 36 floats and an all-time high membership of 1,570. The theme is “Iris Just Wants to Have Fun.” The parade features 31 bands and will showcase Angela Hill as guest grand marshal. The club has gotten hipper under the leadership of a new young captain. Throws include Iris hard hats, plush king cake baby dolls and doubloons in nine colors.

“Tucks Visits the Hood” is the satirical theme of the 48th annual parade of Tucks, a 1,300-member club of men and women who are known for their irreverence. Signature floats include “Funky Tucks,” “Friar Tuck,” “Naughtyham” and the “Giant Royal Throne.” The Tucks parade has nearly 125 units, including 41 super-sized floats. Tucks throws a wide assortment of signature items, including mini-parachutes and logo toilet paper. A whopping 10,000 toilet brushes decorated by the Magnolia School will be handed out.

The Endymion celebration in Mid-City begins with the Samedi Gras Festival on Orleans Avenue at noon, hours before the parade starts at 4:15 p.m. Under the leadership of captain and founder Ed Muniz, Carnival’s largest krewe celebrates its 50th anniversary this year with a spectacular retrospective parade titled “Endymion Through the Years.”

This superkrewe of 3,100 men features the spectacular nine-section “Pontchartrain Beach” float, the “E-TV” float and the new “Club Endymion” float, which salutes the Superdome and its chief executive, guest grand marshal Doug Thornton. Some 30 college and high school bands will perform. The men will be throwing Endymion dolls and new photo cups that represent the krewe’s many signature floats. Also expect doubloons in several colors and a wide array of lighted merchandise.

Pitbull and Steven Tyler will entertain 20,000 guests at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, home of the post-parade Endymion Extravaganza.

The 200 female members of the Krewe of Isis belong to the oldest Carnival organization in Jefferson Parish. The theme of this year’s 18-float parade is “Isis Celebrates the Seasons.” Leading the parade for the 44th time is the Ponchatoula High School Band. This year’s most popular throw will be personalized flip-flops. The procession includes more than 40 units.

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