New Orleans, LA
Mardi Gras Backstage
Jazz Trio, copyright Richard Nowitz/
New Orleans Metropolitan CVB
To experience Mardi Gras without all the hoopla, take the Canal Street ferry to Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World. At this working warehouse, artists design and build the floats and giant sculptures used in the city's annual extravaganza.
Vividly painted, larger-than-life props greet you at the front entrance. Sea monsters, dragons, and characters from cartoons and storybooks astonish the kids. You'll swoon over the pop culture icons. Don't be shy: Try on one of the parade costumes, sequined headdress and all. A perfect photo op!