UPDATE: Mardi Gras World relocated across the river. The new address is
1380 Port of New Orleans Place, New Orleans, LA 70130 USA.
June 2006 – The Algiers section of New Orleans, on what is known as the “west bank” of the Mississippi (although it is actually south at this point), was unaffected by the floodwaters that deluged everything for miles on the other side of the river
The miles of devastation in New Orleans and surrounding parishes all lie east of the Mississippi River, between the high ground near the river and Lakes Pontchartrain and Borgne. Everything on the west bank was spared, including the community of Algiers, home of Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World, where it’s Mardi Gras all year long.
Everything at Mardi Gras World is larger than life. You feel a bit like Alice in Wonderland after eating the cake that makes you smaller and smaller. To enhance the fantasy, you may adorn yourself in Mardi Gras finery to explore the giant floats created over the years by Blaine Kern and a staff of talented artists. Since the 1950′s Blaine Kern has been redefining the Mardi Gras experience with bigger and grander floats designed to last more that one Mardi Gras season. In addition to Mardi Gras, Blaine Kern Studios provide floats, statues and props for theme parks, parades, movie sets and events around the world.
The tour is introduced by a guide and includes a brief film about the history of Mardi Gras and of Blaine Kern studios. You can choose your Mardi Gras regalia – will it be pink feathers and a glittery crown or an armored cloak? Then explore on your own the warehouses full of fiberglass floats including the massive animatronic dragon, Leviathan, that was the largest float in Carnival history when it was created in 1998, or the even larger 5-tandem superfloat, the SS Captain Eddie which took over the record for longest float in the 1999 season.
You will also have the opportunity to visit the studios where designers, painters and sculptors are hard at work repairing and creating characters of all sizes for various purposes. Yellow arrows lead you to the float-building warehouses where carpenters and painters are hard at work constructing floats.
Each tour ends with coffee and a piece of King Cake. Careful where you bite! By tradition each cake contains a tiny plastic doll, the recipient of which buys the next cake.
Located directly across from the French Quarter, Algiers can be reached by driving across the New Orleans Bridge or taking the free ferry from Canal Street. On a rainy day, you might want to drive if you have wheels. The bridge takes you close to Mardi Gras World, but you can also take your car on the ferry for $1. The ferry runs from 6 am to 8:45 pm daily, departing every 15 or 20 minutes, depending on how long it takes to load and unload on each side of the river. The crossing itself only takes about 5 minutes. A shuttle from Mardi Gras World picks up visitors every 15 minutes at the Algiers ferry station. On the return trip, the shuttle makes an optional stop at HooDoo Town.
Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World
233 Newton St.
New Orleans, LA 70114
Phone: (504) 361-7821