Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mardi Gras World - A Must See

If you can't make Mardi Gras in New Orleans - then you must see Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World!

When we were in New Orleans in 2006 we toured the Mardi Gras Museum located next to the cathedral in St. Jackson's Square. My brother insisted that we had to see Mardi Gras World, so this time we crossed the mighty Mississippi and did the tour.

It was nothing but fascinating! Mardi Gras World is where the floats are made (and alot of them stored). We were fortunate enough to see people actually building the floats and one chap in particular who was sculpting was full of information and happy to talk to us.

During the tour we could see the water marks left on the floats from Katrina - something I hadn't given much thought to what with everything else that happened in New Orleans. Still - the floats and Krewes in the parade are a tradition.

Blaine Kern fills the need for those floats along with Beads by the Dozen. What would Mardi Gras be without floats and beads?! So - without further rambling by me - I give this space over to pics. Enjoy.



























































































16 comments:

Daryl said...

Fabulous .. I dont think I want to actually ever be in New Orleans for Mardi Gras but I sure love seeing pix of it during the celebrations... I will stick to visiting off season ... xo

aims said...

It's probably a festivity that I couldn't do either Daryl. Too many people for me. Too much everything for me. All that colour and movement and revellers....

Maggie May said...

That was a really interesting place to visit! I would have loved that, save for the crowds.

San said...

Gorgeous, celebratory pictures!

rosiero said...

I am sure the floats must be amazing. Did you know that in Cologne in Germany they have a Karneval procession on Rose Monday (the day before Shrove Tuesday or Mardis Gras). They have lots of floats with fabulous costumes, though the themes are usually political satire. We used to watch these parades when we lived in Germany.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Mardi Gras is something I really want to see. Maybe one day but I agree about crowds - they can be overwhelming. Pictures are fab as usual. X

Akelamalu said...

I'd love to be in New Orleans for Mardi Gras - someday maybe. :)

travelling, but not in love said...

Looks amazing...and not a little, erm, camp...he he

Crystal Jigsaw said...

These are so colourful. Fascinating place. I probably told you a friend of mine who lives (or lived) in Baton Rouge went to the Mardi Gras and sent me some beads over, tossed to him by a topless parader!

CJ xx

doctorj2u said...

Well, I ALMOST made it to Mardi Gras World this year. I was invited to a cocktail party there for the dental convention. Aims, you are going to kill me but I skipped it because I was tired. (ducks head). I would still like to see it for sake of curiousity, but you have to understand, I grew up with Mardi Gras. I have seen hundreds of parades, marched in parades, rode floats in parades, and have been to many a Mardi Gras Ball. I was even presented IN a Mardi Gras Ball. I LOVE Mardi Gras! It is part of who I am. I will still like to see how the float art is created, but in a way it is like seeing how sausage is made. It might take some of the magic away. Because that is what Mardi Gras is - MAGIC. It is an entire city of adults that gives in to a group fantasy. Even the mayor officially gives over the reigns of the city to Rex, the King of Carnival that day. I am glad you enjoyed it, though. That is what it was created for, for people that were not in the city for the actual event to see some of it. Throw me something, mister!

Lane said...

Fabulous pictures. The work that goes into those floats looks amazing.

Who's who said...

I must admit that I love colour and movement and revellers - Dulwich is actually rather suburban - but shhh, don't tell a soul I said.

I am turning over a new leaf and now I am a net and no longer a blogspot! I shall say more in touch with those I love.

DM x

Dr.John said...

Wow! Thank you for sharing. I wish I could go there myself but this is the next best thing.

doctorj2u said...

I have been looking for video to show you Mardi Gras in action. First you have to understand the system. You hold a parade, followed by a ball of the members of the Krewe. (That is what each organization is known as.) There are baically 2 types of Mardi Gras organizations. 1.) Social (to present the daughters of Krewe members to society or as an honor to the krewe member) and 2.)Party (a huge party for Krewe members and their guests). Here is some video of the later - the Krewe of Endymion. Here is some of the parade.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqhVvCHlO0s

Here is the ball as the floats enter the Superdome (where the ball is held).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iV7l92hN7I0&feature=related

Rex is an example of a social Krewe. The history goes back to the 1890's. The floats are always on a theme of the classics and are beautiful. The beginning is always led by the Captain in white (the true power of the organization) and his Dukes in the color of Mardi Gras and Rex (Green, purple and Gold). Then comes king, Rex. To be named Rex is an honor for the member's service to the city. Even the beginning floats are tradition. The smoking bull is le boeuf gras, the sacraficial meat before Lent begins.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUUEyrf28jQ&feature=PlayList&p=62D08D34AA2C2764&index=1&playnext=2&playnext_from=PL
The balls for society are closed and I could not find any video for you. Here are some pictures from the organizations web site.
http://www.rexorganization.com/Ball/
And then there is of course the Mardi Gras of the French Quarter. It is a world unto itself. LOL!
http://videos.nola.com/2009/03/2009_bourbon_street_awards.html
Like New Orleans itself, Mardi Gras is a complex intertwined affair that hold the best and the worst all at once. I hope all in this world can one day experience its beauty.

Melanie said...

What an amazing place to visit. For some reason I just thought they would be made from scratch each year. It is good that they can be stored and reused.

Brian Miller said...

very cool look behind the scenes or under the skin of the floats...