Countdown to Endymion: Campers set up shop along route 3 days before parade

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - The dozens of people you see sitting - and sleeping - on the neutral ground of Orleans and Carrollton avenues aren't just out there enjoying the nice, spring-like weather.

They're holding spots for themselves and their families for the Krewe of Endymion, even though the parade doesn't roll until Saturday evening.

The city says you can't mark off territory in advance of a parade, but if you're physically there, it's legal - and they've been doing it for years.

Wednesday night, about a half-dozen people were camped on the neutral ground on Orleans Avenue.

By Thursday, there were dozens of campers on Orleans and Carrollton, some even in tents.

"My family had been coming out here for over 40 years and I'm just keeping up the tradition me and Super Dave sort of like hooked up and we've been doing it ever since, ya know," a camper named "Bayou Al" told WGNO-News with a Twist.

Endymion campers

Endymion campers "Bayou Al" and "Super Dave" 

The Krewe of Endymion estimates that more than a million people convene along the route to watch the mega-parade each year. And diehards will do just about anything to make sure they have a good spot.

It starts at 4:15 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of Orleans and City Park avenues.

The parade, which includes the world's longest Mardi Gras float, travels down Orleans Avenue to North Carrollton Avenue, where it turns right onto North Carrollton before taking a left on Canal Street.

It continues on Canal Street until it reaches St. Charles Avenue downtown. The parade turns right on St. Charles and proceeds to Howard Avenue at Lee Circle.

Floats then take Howard Avenue to Loyola and make a right on Loyola before taking a left on Dave Dixon Drive.

Next, they take a left on Liberty Street, followed by a right on Julia Street, a right on Le Rouge Lane, another right on Dave Dixon Drive - all before their final turn onto LaSalle Street and into Champions Square at the Superdome.