Monday, July 4, 2011

New Orleans-Marde Gras World

When folks think of New Orleans, they usually think of Marde Gras and the bars and hotels along Bourbon Street.  I've been to the French Quarter (although not during Marde Gras) and enjoyed the french flavor and nice people that I met there.  This trip, I wanted to peek "behind the curtain" and see what it takes to put on one of the world's biggest parties year after year. 
Over 90% of the floats and costumes for Marde Gras are created by the amazing artists that work for Blaine Kern's Marde Gras World.  They build, restore, and house most of the floats used each year during Marde Gras.  The best part is that you can tour this wonderful company most of the year (not during Marde Gras for obvious reasons).  I enjoyed taking the tour and learned quite a bit.  For instance, each invited float rider spends nearly $2000.00 of his/her own money on beads and candy to throw to the crowd along the parade route.  Also, there are permanent float figures created out of fiberglass and less expensive figures made of styrofoam and covered in papier mache.  Each float can cost as much as a million dollars and no city or state funds are used for the parades with the exception of a police presence during the parades and street cleanup after Marde Gras.  I recommend a visit to Marde Gras World if not for the history, then for the awesome photo opportunies.

More photos HERE.


  1. Very interesting read - and very cool photos. Thanks for the article Greg.

  2. I enjoyed the photos Greg. I am blown away that each float rider spends 2,000 for stuff to throw into the crowd. That is serious! ;)