by L. Davis
You are probably asking, what is Mardi Gras World? It was definitely an exciting stop. Floats and float decorations are created
and made in Mardi Gras World!
First, a bit of background:
Every parade must be sponsored by a “krewe” (social club/organizations). Each krewe selects the theme for their parade floats and then either constructs them on their own or has a company such as Mardi Gras World design and construct them. Float prices range from a few thousand dollars upward to fifty and sixty thousand dollars.
Most of the figures on floats are made using thin sheets of Styrofoam cut and glued together, then covered in paper Mache, painted, and placed on the floats with other designs and lights that make up the float’s décor.
Fiberglass figures are occasionally used, however float weight limits makes the use of fiberglass prohibitive. One interesting piece of trivia that we learned was that Mardi Gras World creates all of the fiberglass cow figures that are used on Chick-fil-a billboards.
No self-propelled floats are allowed in parades. They each must have a “tow vehicle” pulling them. (If the tow vehicle has a break down, it can be easily replaced and the parade continues—not the case with a motorized float).
All of the floats used by Mardi Gras World have solid rubber tires to prevent having a flat during a parade. Smart, huh?
Floats are generally only used once and are dismantled after completing their parade debut.
Reusable figures and design pieces are removed, cataloged, and stored for possible reuse. We were shown a previously used King Kong and Queen Kong being modified and painted for placement on a float for this year’s parade–props being used included do-rags and duck calls—guess the theme.
This was a great tour and if you are in New Orleans, I recommend that you take this excursion. The designs, colors, and workmanship that go into the floats are awesome. I hope you enjoy some pictures made during the tour.
Join us next weekend for a look at
some personal sightseeing!