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Upcoming Events

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ESSENCE Music Festival

Jul 5 - 5, 2015
The ultimate party weekend is highlighted by performances from a variety of… more

NASA Week to Blast…

Jul 5 - 5, 2015
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas will host a week of space exploration… more

New Orleans Museum of…

Jul 5 - Sep 7, 2015
Ten Years Gone brings together six artists whose work engages with the broad… more

Red, White, and…

Jul 5 - 5, 2015
In a most unusual salute to Independence Day, Audubon Butterfly Garden and… more

Tai Chi/Chi Kung

Jul 6 - 6, 2015
NOMA, in collaboration with the East Jefferson Wellness Center offers wellness… more

LIVE BAND KARAOKE…

Jul 7 - 28, 2015
Rock out on stage with Mixed Nuts as your band! All ages and free each Tuesday… more

Lydia's Purple Cloth…

Jul 7 - 28, 2015
Quilting continues! We're excited to have more time to work on creations… more

Octavia Art Gallery -…

Jul 7 - 25, 2015
This summer, Octavia Art Gallery is pleased to present new works by Cuban based… more

Ogden Museum Book…

Jul 7 - 7, 2015
Join us at the Book Club for  Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale… more

Purchased Lives: New…

Jul 7 - 18, 2015
The Historic New Orleans Collection's newest exhibition, "Purchased… more

The Sweat Social…

Jul 7 - Dec 20, 2015
Designed for wellness travelers visiting New Orleans, the Sweat Social offers… more

Gambit’s 2015…

Jul 8 - 8, 2015
Gambit's 2015 Emerging Chefs Challenge recognizes the next generation of… more

2015 Francisco…

Jul 9 - 9, 2015
The Historic New Orleans Collection's 2015 Francisco Bouligny Lecture will… more

Langlois Girls Night…

Jul 9 - Sep 3, 2015
Bring your friends to Langlois on Thursdays or Fridays this summer for girls'… more

LIVE IMPROV WITH NOLA…

Jul 9 - 30, 2015
Improv Comedy with NOLA ComedySportz is great for all ages. The audience of a… more

San Fermin in Nueva…

Jul 9 - 12, 2015
The 9th Annual Running of the Bulls at San Fermin in Nueva Orleans (SFNO) is… more

Yappy Hour in the…

Jul 9 - 30, 2015
Join us for  Yappy Hour in the Courtyard at Rare Form, to benefit the… more

Friday Nights at NOMA

Jul 10 - 10, 2015
Every Friday evening, come to the museum for activities and entertainment.… more

Smoothie King Center…

Jul 10 - 11, 2015
Garth Brooks is bringing his World Tour with Trisha Yearwood to the Smoothie… more

Toast & Tiki Tails

Jul 10 - 10, 2015
Toasts & Tiki-Tails" will be held at the NO Fleas Market  during… more

ESSENCE Music Festival

Jul 5 - 5, 2015
The ultimate party weekend is highlighted by performances from a variety of… more

The Party's Restarted: Mardi Gras World Open

They don't call this a party town for nothing.

Recovering from the ravages of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, artists are eagerly returning to the task of crafting puckish icons for Mardi Gras parades.

The pre-Lenten Mardi Gras celebrations here boast masquerade balls and raucous merrymaking that gain worldwide attention. And for Blaine Kern, the 78-year-old known as "Mr. Mardi Gras," a little joy is exactly what this town needs.

"Yes, there will be Mardi Gras parades!" declares Kern, whose family operates Kern Studios, a Mardi Gras assembly line. "Everybody wants to do it," he says. "We are going to show the world that we are still alive and want to have fun."

Part of Kern's operation is Mardi Gras World, an Algiers warehouse where the notoriously creative Kern family and its legion of artists work their magic, churning out floats and fantasies for virtually all of Mardi Gras’ biggest parades. Thousands come to Mardi Gras World every year to watch the artists at work and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the artistry behind the fantastic spectacle of Mardi Gras.

On Monday, Oct. 17, Mardi Gras World reopened for the first time since Hurricane Katrina to offer its popular tours. Mardi Gras World is open for business from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily, with the last tour at 4:30 p.m. Reservations are only required for 10 or more.

Daily tours begin with fantasy and fun from the beginning: Colorful Mardi Gras props, like a gigantic jovial jester, fiercely realistic alligators, and a gorgeously exciting Marilyn Monroe with skirt flying greet one and all to this amazing factory. After a brief introduction by a knowledgeable guide and a spirited video about the history of Mardi Gras and the company, visitors can dress up in authentic, ornate carnival costumes. Free king cake and hot New Orleans coffee is served!

During the self-guided portion of the tour, visitors enter a maze of amazing props of all sizes. In one area, heaps of props await repair, while artists, painters, and sculptors create their masterpieces. Next, the tour enters the "den" (float artists' warehouse). It is a big carpentry and paint shop, where workers build and decorate sensational floats. For each "krewe" (club), artists paint each float with brightly-colored themed scenes. Gold and silver foil as well as thousands of fiberoptic lights on the sides of the floats glisten and glow. The floats appear as colorful and animated as any imaginative Hollywood movie.

A tasty lunch of New Orleans delicacies is also served daily from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. for $10 per person. Special tour rates apply for adults, seniors and children.

Mardi Gras World is also available to rent for spectacular special events.

Meanwhile, Kern and his artists are revving up for a Mardi Gras that many are seeing as New Orleans’ post-Katrina coming out party. February 28, 2006, will mark the 150th anniversary of the first formal Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans. But more importantly, Mardi Gras 2006 will be a celebration of the rebirth of New Orleans and a demonstration of its enduring character and spirit.

The City Council has unanimously given its blessing to carnival krewe captains to proceed with their plans for Mardi Gras 2006. So far, 31 krewes have announced their intentions to parade. The Mayor’s Mardi Gras Coordinating Committee is next meeting in mid-November to present a parade calendar and information about routes. Though Mardi Gras will be scaled down relative to previous years, it is expected to be a tremendously jubilant, spectacular and emotion affair.

While air-brushing a giant parrot, Mardi Gras World artist Charles Bendzans says that the Mardi Gras parades must go on.

"This is what we do here - have fun," Bendzans says, spraying turquoise paint on the bird. "Mardi Gras is a frame of mind."

Daily Tours:
Doors open: 9:30 am
Last Tour: 4:30 pm

School Tours:
Children PreK-6th Grade: $3.50
Children 7th-12th Grade: $6.50
Chaperons: $6.50
Teachers and Transportation Driver: FREE

(Limit 150 Students per tour)
Admission prices include King Cake & Drink!

Mask Making
Learn how to create your own Mardi Gras Mask
with feathers and glitter! All materials furnished
$4.00 extra for each child.

Pizza Lunches with Fresh Fruit and Beverage
$4.00 extra for each child through 6th grade,
plus teachers and chaperons.
$5.00 extra for each child 7th-12th grade,
plus teachers and chaperons

Group Tours:
Adults, age 12 and above: $9.50
Children, 4-11: $5.00
Children, 3 and under: FREE
Seniors: $9.00

*All tours include free King Cake & Coffee!
Reservations are only Required for 10 or more, so just stop by!
Don't forget your camera!


Adults: $15.00
Children 11 and under: $7.25
Seniors: $11.00
Student w/ college or high school ID: $11.00

*All tours include free King Cake & Coffee!
Reservations are only Required for 10 or more, so just stop by!
Don't forget your camera!

Cooking classes available by appointment.

Facility available for private functions.