Travellers to New Orleans generally spend most of their time in the French Quarter. But across the river is another iconic New Orleans gem: Mardi Gras World. Visitors to Mardi Gras World are invited to wander through a maze of rooms that explode with color. No matter which way you turn, another fantastic image grabs your eye. This is the place where parade floats are made. Not the gigantic balloon heads that float above the streets of New York during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, but the fantastic floats that glide down St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana during Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, and Halloween.
It’s easy to feel lost as you wander the paths through the warehouse. There are so many things to look at that you begin to feel overwhlemed by all the color and detail. Your eye can’t take it all in at a glance. Visitors really need to stop and examine one piece at a time.
The forms are used over and over. A quick change of paint makes a genie into a revolutionary soldier. A Halloween pumpkin becomes Cinderella’s carriage. The magic is in the artistry created with these oversized doll’s heads and rotating fantasy worlds.
The result is magical. Visitors feel as though they’ve been taken backstage on the set of an amusement park ready to spring to life. The rooms are sprinkled with familiar cartoon characters and newly-imagined monsters such as the dragon Leviathan, who is decorated with blinking arcade lights that add to the fun.
It’s a part of New Orleans that shouldn’t be missed. Whether you travel to the Big Easy in February for the real Mardi Gras parade or not, a little bit of the festivities of New Orleans’ carnival atmosphere is always available to be sampled at Mardi Gras World. I feel like I got a behind-the-scenes peek.
Have you been somewhere that made you feel that way?
Wow what colours. I thought back to Wyatt & Billy’s LSD trip at Mardi Gras in Easy Rider (before your time :-))
Not really before my time. I’m familiar with the movie.
The colors were incredible. No hallucenogenics required. 😉
Sweet! This reminds me of my childhood, decorating the Rose Parade floats every year. We were part of the backstage process and it was extremely cool…messy as hell, but cool.
How neat! Our local high school marching band played in the Rose Bowl Parade. I wish I could have gone. That would have been a neat experience.
Perfect timing! We leave for New Orleans in 2 days! Thanks for the teaser.
So much to see there! If you can fit this in, do.
I had no idea about this place. I’ve only been to New Orleans once, and yes, we spent just about all of our time in the French Quarter. I love how you find so many unique places in your travels, Juliann.
Thanks, Maddie. I do love it when I find something a little off the beaten path. I usually wonder why other people don’t know about it and feel compelled to let them know.
Wow! Seems like a smorgasbord of colour and whimsy! I remember watching a ‘Take Home Chef’ episode that I think was shot here!
You always have such beautiful color-filled shots. I don’t often see explosions of color quite like this. I snapped picture after picture every time I moved an inch.
Love all that explosion of color! Funny enough, I was at a lantern festival display this past weekend so I can definitely relate to the experience of having your visual senses overwhelmed. Made me wish I had about 3 extra pairs of eyes to take everything in!
That’s settled – I’m putting New Orleans on my “Next Destination” list!
Love the colors and the exciting designs. Mardi Gras is a magical event. For a moment it’s great to be lost both in the details and with the moment. To have fun and just feel free.
Reblogged this on Browsing The Atlas and commented:
Reposting this from a former trip to New Orleans. It’s another iconic part of the Crescent City that shouldn’t be missed.
Wow, everything is incredibly colourful. How wonderful to have a backstage look-see.
Yes, the artistry and the colors were amazing! Made me want to create something.
Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve been to the Mardi Gras but never to where the floats are made. Next time I am in New Orleans I’ll be sure to add it to our itinerary. It seems to me the shops were featured on an episode of NCIS New Orleans, a show I really like. –Curt
It’s a really neat look at behind-the-scenes. I don’t watch the show, but this seems like a natural place to shoot some background footage for a show.