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New Orleans, Louisiana

Mardi Gras World

This float factory takes the mask off of Mardi Gras and lets visitors see where the magic happens. 

Mardi Gras World may sound like a theme park, but it is actually a workshop where the elaborate and fantastic floats get made for the annual New Orleans celebration.

The float masters at Blaine Kern Studios have been making traveling tableaus since 1947 and now provide floats to multiple parades around the country all year round. However the biggest event is still the titular Mardi Gras during which the shop produces 80% of the festival’s floats. While the shop began from humble roots, the studio now produces floats using huge fiberglass installations, lights, fabrics and sometimes hundreds of reveling riders. The shop provides tours of their facilities year-round and visitors will get to see traditional Mardi Gras costumes, floats-in-progress, and even get to sample some of the festival treat, King Cake.