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Upcoming Events

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"Prospect.3: Notes…

Nov 26, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
Prospect New Orleans, the International Contemporary Art Biennial,  will… more

Andrew Jackson: Hero…

Nov 26, 2014 - Mar 29, 2015
THNOC's exhibition tracks Jackson's rise from humble beginnings to immortality… more

Irvin Mayfield's Jazz…

Nov 26 - 26, 2014
Join us at The Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel for… more

Pub Quiz

Nov 26 - 26, 2014
Test your knowledge of an array of topics, including World War II, at the… more

THE GUANTÁNAMO PUBLIC…

Nov 26 - 26, 2014
This traveling exhibit examines the history of the U.S. naval base in… more

The Victory Belles…

Nov 26, 2014 - Jun 24, 2015
Noted for their close harmonies and synchronized dance steps, the Andrews… more

The Victory Belles…

Nov 26 - Dec 28, 2014
Our popular, charming vocal trio is in a holiday mood! Come jingle all the way… more

ThinkerKids Holiday…

Nov 26 - 26, 2014
Come explore science, technology, art and math with us at ThinkerKids Holiday… more

White Glove Wednesdays

Nov 26 - 26, 2014
It's one thing to read on an exhibit label that an infantryman's pack in World… more

The Hotel Modern…

Nov 27 - 27, 2014
Gather for brunch at Tivoli & Lee this Thanksgiving Day! Executive Chef… more

Turkey Day Race 5…

Nov 27 - 27, 2014

"The Victory Belles…

Nov 28 - 28, 2014
Our popular, charming vocal trio is in a holiday mood! Come jingle all the way… more

2014 Battle of the…

Nov 28 - 28, 2014
The Bayou Classic is more than a football game. This annual event is one of the… more

An Evening of…

Nov 28 - 28, 2014
Join us for an evening of elegance with Lalah Hathaway, Najee, and Kindred The… more

Celebration in the…

Nov 28, 2014 - Jan 03, 2015
City Park's annual holiday lighting exhibit and festival returns with one of… more

ThinkerKids Holiday…

Nov 28 - 28, 2014
Come explore science, technology, art and math with us at ThinkerKids Holiday… more

"The Victory Belles…

Nov 29 - 29, 2014
Our popular, charming vocal trio is in a holiday mood! Come jingle all the way… more

Bayou Classic

Nov 29 - 29, 2014
The 41st Annual Bayou Classic will take place in the Dome on Saturday, November… more

"The Victory Belles…

Nov 30 - 30, 2014
Our popular, charming vocal trio is in a holiday mood! Come jingle all the way… more

"The Victory Belles…

Nov 30 - 30, 2014
Our popular, charming vocal trio is in a holiday mood! Come jingle all the way… more

"Prospect.3: Notes…

Nov 26, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
Prospect New Orleans, the International Contemporary Art Biennial,  will… 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.