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Upcoming Events

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“Giants of Jazz: Art…

Nov 19 - Dec 17, 2017
This spring, art and music converge as The Historic New Orleans Collection… more

Always for Pleasure…

Nov 19 - 21, 2017
The ALWAYS FOR PLEASURE FESTIVAL (AFP) is 5 days of movies, music, art,… more

Amazing Scavenger…

Nov 19, 2017 - Jul 03, 2027
Turn New Orleans into a giant game board with this fun scavenger hunt… more

Dim Sum Brunch at…

Nov 19, 2017
Sister to Gulotta’s acclaimed MOPHO, Maypop located in downtown’s… more

East of the…

Nov 19, 2017 - Jan 07, 2018
The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) will present East of the Mississippi:… more

East of the…

Nov 19, 2017 - Jan 07, 2018
The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) will present East of the Mississippi:… more

Magazine St. Art…

Nov 19, 2017
Magazine St. Art Market is a unique way to experience the best of our local… more

Toups South Presents…

Nov 19 - Dec 31, 2017
Join us at Toups for Sunday Brunch! Sunday Brunch at Toups South just got… more

Treme Creole Gumbo…

Nov 19 - 19, 2017
New Orleans jazz and R&B by Treme artists, gumbo-cooking demos, crafts and… more

Washington Redskins @…

Nov 19 - 19, 2017
The New Orleans Saints & Washington Redskins kick-off at Noon. more

David Hansen's Garden…

Nov 20, 2017
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

David Hansen's Garden…

Nov 20 - Dec 29, 2017
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

Monday Blues

Nov 20, 2017 - Jan 05, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages. Get your live local blues fix with Sean Riley. more

OKC Thunder @ New…

Nov 20 - 20, 2017
Come experience NBA basketball at its best as the Pelicans take on the NBA's… more

The Somerton Suitcase…

Nov 20, 2017
The Somerton Suitcase is live every Monday night at VASO on Frenchmen St. Catch… more

Christmas Tree…

Nov 21 - 21, 2017
Join us at the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk during the annual Christmas Tree… more

Le Meridien Presents…

Nov 21 - 25, 2017
Le Méridien New Orleans presents a gourmet burger pop-up bar in LMNO… more

Singer/Songerwriter…

Nov 21, 2017 - Jan 06, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages. House of Blues New Orleans hosts a new weekly… more

Live Opera…

Nov 22 - 22, 2017
Opera Returns to Bourbon Street. Enjoy FREE opera entertainment at the Puccini… more

San Antonio Spurs @…

Nov 22 - 22, 2017
Come experience NBA basketball at its best as the Pelicans take on the NBA's… more

“Giants of Jazz: Art…

Nov 19 - Dec 17, 2017
This spring, art and music converge as The Historic New Orleans Collection… 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.