Mardi Gras is a giant carnival held annually in Louisiana. The last season included 54 parades and presented 1,061 mobile platforms, 588 orchestras and more than 135,000 participants.
The entire route took 301 miles, and the procession was on the street for 204 hours. And of course, after this the appearance of a museum dedicated to the festival was only a matter of time.
Do not miss your chance to go backstage of one of America's most famous and noisiest celebrations.
Mardi Gras World suggests looking at some of the vibrant platforms and costumes used during the famous New Orleans party.
One thing you need to know in advance: this is not a museum - this is a warehouse workshop where the carts are in the process of being completed and the old props are stored. Take a tour of the maze of props or attend a multimedia presentation to learn more about the history of the festival.
You can also watch artists who work hard to create costumes. Before the tour, visitors are invited to try on authentic outfits. After the tour, guests are treated to a slice of royal cake.
Buying a ticket also includes a free shuttle service from several points in the city center and in the French Quarter.
There is no scheduled boarding time, so you will need to call Mardi Gras World when you arrive at one of the pick-up points and the bus will meet you.
History of Mardi Gras World
For a long time, local artist Roy Kern painted logos on cargo ships and barges, surviving the difficult times of the Great Depression. Later, he and his son Blaine built his first mobile platform for the Mardi Gras festival.
Unable to pay his mother’s medical bills, Blaine suggested painting a mural in the hospital. She caught the eye of the surgeon, who was also a regular at the Mardi Gras festival.
The surgeon invited Blaine to design and build a mobile platform for the festival. Thanks to this, the Kern studio was officially founded in 1947. One platform led to another, and soon Blaine became the lead designer of the city parade.
Blaine Kern traveled all over Europe to study with leading world masters. During several trips to Italy, France and Spain, Blaine was inspired by extravagant concepts that marked the European style of building carts.
He brought these ideas to New Orleans and designed monumental decorations for Mardi Gras’s impressive modern mobile platforms. Blaine Kern played an important role in the emerging New Orleans parades.
After numerous requests from people, Kern decided to open a working studio for the public.
In 1984, Mardi Gras World was created as a tourist attraction to provide visitors with an opportunity to peek behind the scenes of work. Now this place attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world every year.
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, Kern and Mardi Gras World suffered severe wind damage. The Red Cross and the Salvation Army used the warehouse as a base to help others who were more seriously affected.
A tour of Mardi Gras World allows you to see firsthand what you need to revitalize Mardi Gras year after year. Go through the hard work of planning your holiday and head to Blaine Kern Studios, a workshop that has been creating breathtaking mobile platforms for the festival and other parades around the world since 1947.
On the tour you will be paired with a guide who will take you through a huge studio where artists and architects work. You will learn about the history of this unique holiday tradition in order to better understand the real magic of Mardi Gras.
This New Orleans tour is an unforgettable experience. There are many opportunities to take pictures in front of platforms, with props or in a traditional Mardi Gras costume, so do not forget to bring a camera with you and try a special royal pie - you rarely see it in such places.
1380 Port of New Orleans Pl, New Orleans, LA 70130
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