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AskNOLA: Making Mardi Gras With Barry Kern

For nearly 30 years, the family business Mardi Gras World has been behind the scenes making Mardi Gras a little more beautiful every year and serving as of the most unique tourist attractions in New Orleans. From housing events, to making  krewes’ dream floats come to life, the team is hard at work year around creating more than 400 floats per season. No matter when you stop by, one peak behind this Mardi Gras factory’s curtain and you can see Carnival in the making from plans to production. On this AskNOLA episode of GoNOLA TV, you’ll find out president Berry Kern’s perspective on what goes on in those magical warehouses around town and his favorite parade!

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Video Transcript:

Hey, I’m Barry Kern, I’m the president of Mardi Gras World Kern Studios,
this is where we create Mardi Gras here in New Orleans.

Mardi Gras World started in 1984, by my father Blaine Kern. We host parties
and events, as well as tours. It takes about a week and a half to two weeks
to complete a single float. We actually have a team of designers that are
designing floats; artists and artisans that are sculpting figures. We have
carpenters that are building floats, welders; and now this is one warehouse.
We also have another 15 warehouses around the city. We put out anywhere
from 400-500 hundred floats each season.

The crews that are our clients, a lot of times they’ll come up with ideas
with what they want to do, but also we’ll help share ideas with them and
we’ll present a parade that is kind of true to their organization. My
favorite parade is a parade that’s finished and it’s back here in the
warehouse, and done.

I guess I’m happiest on Mardi Gras Day. There’s a lot of joy. You see
everybody out on the streets, all the families. Everybody having a good
time, and so it’s a good time for me, because it’s kind of- everything’s
winding down and the finish line is in sight.