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Mardi Gras World

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

1380 Port of New Orleans Pl, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA

Opening Hours

9:00 AM - 5:30 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

USD 13

Find it on google maps

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"Visit Mardi Gras World in the afternoon when crowds have often thinned out, and you might get a chance for a more intimate look at the artists at work. Also, don't miss the opportunity to try on some authentic Mardi Gras costumes near the gift shop—they make for great photos and it's a hidden gem many visitors overlook!"

What is Mardi Gras World?

Mardi Gras World is a vibrant and enchanting realm located right in the heart of New Orleans, where the magic of Mardi Gras is created and preserved all year round. It's the place where you can step behind the scenes to explore the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into the floats and costumes that dazzle crowds every year during New Orleans’ famous Mardi Gras parade. Think of it as a museum, a workshop, and an experiential tourist attraction all rolled into one — a celebratory space where visitors like you get to witness firsthand the rich cultural traditions that shape this iconic festival.

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History of Mardi Gras World

The story of Mardi Gras World began with the legendary Kern family and their float-building company, Kern Studios. Roy Kern, the founder, started as a sign painter and ended up launching a legacy in 1932 when he began crafting Mardi Gras floats. His son, Blaine Kern, expanded on this tradition and established what would become one of the most prominent float-building enterprises for Mardi Gras parades. Blaine’s travels across the globe allowed him to bring a myriad of international flavors into the float designs and decorations, giving rise to Mardi Gras World, which opened its doors in 1984 to give regular folks a taste of the behind-the-scenes action.

In the ensuing decades, Mardi Gras World has evolved significantly, shifting locations to accommodate its growth and provide a more immersive and interactive experience. Its current venue by the Mississippi River not only offers ample space for the float den but also grants visitors breathtaking views of the river, crafting a full-bodied New Orleans experience.

Why is Mardi Gras World Important?

Mardi Gras World holds a special place in the heart of New Orleans culture. It immortalizes the spirit of Mardi Gras year-round, which for locals is more than just a festival — it's a manifestation of heritage, community, and collective creativity. Mardi Gras itself is an essential part of the city’s identity, with roots that intertwine with its history and social fabric. As such, Mardi Gras World is important because it safeguards the craftsmanship and tradition of float building that otherwise might be overlooked by those who see only the end result during the Mardi Gras festivities.

Moreover, Mardi Gras World contributes to the education and appreciation of New Orleans' unique culture. By opening its doors to the world, it allows people from all walks of life to better understand the intricacy and the year-long efforts that go into preparing for just a few days of celebration. It's also an important economic asset to the city, fostering tourism and providing jobs to local artisans and craftspeople who work diligently to bring the kaleidoscopic visions of Mardi Gras to life.

Things to Do & See at Mardi Gras World

Visiting Mardi Gras World is like stepping into a treasure trove of colors and creativity. You begin with an informative and entertaining video that explains the history of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, followed by a guided tour that takes you through the maze of towering floats and props. You'll learn about the painstaking process of float construction, from welding metal frameworks to the art of papier-mâché and painting.

One of the highlights is seeing the artists at work, often applying the finishing touches to a gigantic king's crown or a mythical creature’s scales. Don't miss trying on some of the ornate costumes — it’s your chance to dress up like royalty or a character straight out of a storybook! And, of course, the tour wouldn't be complete without a slice of authentic King Cake, a Mardi Gras staple. Trust me, it’s delectable!

In addition to the standard tour, you can also engage in a hands-on workshop where you get to create a mini float all your own, and there are even special events throughout the year. And if you're an avid photographer or a social media enthusiast, Mardi Gras World is a goldmine of photogenic spots, so make sure your camera is charged and ready. Let’s not forget the gift shop located at the end of the tour, stocked with unique souvenirs to remember your visit.

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Frequently asked questions

What is Mardi Gras World?

Mardi Gras World is a tourist attraction in New Orleans that offers visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the work and creativity that goes into designing and constructing the floats for the city's famous Mardi Gras parades.

Where is Mardi Gras World located?

Mardi Gras World is located in New Orleans, Louisiana, adjacent to the Mississippi River.

Can you take a tour of Mardi Gras World?

Yes, Mardi Gras World is open to the public for tours, where visitors can see the artists at work and learn about the history of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Are there any special events or activities at Mardi Gras World?

Mardi Gras World often hosts special events, including private functions and parties, especially during the Mardi Gras season. They may also have interactive activities for visitors, depending on the time of year.

What can you learn about at Mardi Gras World?

Visitors to Mardi Gras World can learn about the history of the festival, the float building process, the artistry involved in creating the floats and costumes, and the significance of Mardi Gras to the culture of New Orleans.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

1380 Port of New Orleans Pl, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA

Opening Hours

9:00 AM - 5:30 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

USD 13

Find it on google maps