Behind the Ernest N Morial Convention Center on the River walk in New Orleans is Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World, s about 2 miles from my hotel in the French Quarter, a very long walk in the heat and humidity! But worth it
The tour is $19.95 and includes a bite of the traditional King Cake, a film and a guided tour of the warehouse filled filled with last year’s floats and artists creating creating the 2012 floats. We were allowed to take any pictures we wanted and could even photograph the artists at work. While the floats were not working (many are now strung with LEDs) we could walk right up and touch them, something that may be difficult during Tuesday night festivities.
With every float I viewed, the excitement and attraction increased. It was clear that the Krewes and residents of New Orleans are devoted to having fun.
And that is all this is; art and fun. What I experienced in the hot warehouse was artistry and creativity for the hell of it. For the fun of it. I reveled in the enormity of the effort and the spectacular pay off – all this work to roll down St. Charles Street and toss beads to the watching families. All this work just to be impressed with your Krewe’s own efforts. When have we lost this? When did every art project need to be monetized. When did every writer need to be published?
I will always think of the unbridled enthusiasm of Mardi Gras, in the name of creativity, do something to dazzle others, do something that just impresses you.
Let the good times roll.