First, we reported on the upcoming performance of Katharine McPhee in the Rose Parade.
Now, the actual winner last year, Taylor Hicks will reign as the Krewe of Endymion's grand marshal for the 2007 Carnival season. The gray-haired, 30-year-old soul singer from Birmingham, Ala., will be leading a contingent that includes singer Al Green and the musical groups Journey and Styx in the parade.
Hicks was in New Orleans for a wedding just before Hurricane Katrina struck on Aug. 29, 2005. With his flight out of town canceled, he took a cab to West Monroe and turned his free plane ticket into an American Idol audition trip to Las Vegas.
Endymion is among the city's largest Carnival groups. For Carnival 2006, Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd served as co-grand marshals. The parade has hundreds of participants and roughly 30 floats.
Endymion will roll down historic St. Charles Avenue on Feb. 17, the Saturday before Mardi Gras, which is Feb. 20.