Mardi Gras is one of the biggest holidays in the city of New Orleans. It has been a legal holiday since 1875 when the Governor of Louisiana declared it with the "Mardi Gras Act''. However, the tradition of Mardi Gras began in Europe in medieval times. It was brought to the colonies and the first one was held in 1703 in what is now Mobile, Alabama. The celebration of Mardi Gras in New Orleans was happening around the 1730's although it didn't take on a parade form until much later. Floats were made in New Orleans for the first time for the 1873 Mardi Gras. Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World has been part of the parade since 1947.
Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World employs artists that bring the floats to life by producing the many elements of the Mardi Gras parade. They are well known for their sculptures, props, and music and lighting effects. In many instances this company provides the ideas for the floats and follows it through to completion. Their studios in New Orleans are a favored attraction for visitors.
The studio offers tours for everyone to enjoy. Visitors get to walk through the areas where the creations tower over them. This experience allows everyone to see how the floats and sculptures are made as well as see the technology behind the animation.
Ticket prices are $18.00 for adults, $14.00 for seniors over 64 and $11.00 for children ages 4-10. The studio is open seven days a week from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. There is an option to take a guided tour. The pricing may be different for this service. Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World is located at 1380 Port of New Orleans Place, New Orleans, LA.
Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World offers two special events. The first one involves the School of Cooking. Guests watch as a chef prepares and explains the making of New Orleans Gumbo. A lunch is then served consisting of Gumbo, Rice, Salad, Iced Tea and for the sweet tooth Bread Pudding. Reservations are required and group size can be ten or more persons.
Take a guided tour with the Mini Float Building special event. The tour is approximately an hour in length and it gives the participants time to decide what activity they want to follow. This guided tour starts with a twelve minute movie. After that the guests can put on some of the costumes. The Prop Shop is where the artists are working on the sculptures, building of floats, and painting. The tour includes seeing some of the most memorable floats such as the Orpheus and the Leviathan. King Cake and coffee are served as refreshments at the end of this segment.
Groups are divided into about ten people so that they can design and construct their own themed float. Two artists are present to answer questions, and verbally assist and judge the completed floats. This activity lasts around two hours and soft drinks are included. For pricing and more information on visiting Blain Kern's Mardi Gras World dial 800-362-8213.