NEW ORLEANS — Blaine Kern Sr., a float builder who was often credited with helping expand New Orleans’ Mardi Gras celebration into a giant event known worldwide, has died.
News outlets reported that Blaine Kern Sr., known as “Mr. Mardi Gras” for his decades of work that helped boost New Orleans Carnival celebration, died Thursday. He was 93.
Kern’s wife, Holly Kern, told WWL-TV that her husband loved what he did and was always eager to share the story of Mardi Gras.
“He was an amazing guy. So generous, so kind. He had a love for life and a zest for life that I’ve never seen before,” she said. Kern developed an infection after a fall and died at home, she said.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell said Kern was “an iconic part of what makes New Orleans magical.”
“What Mardi Gras is today, what our City is today, owes much to him and his imagination, his larger-than-life personality, and his relentless creativity,” she said in a statement.