"Blaine Kern," Photo by Cheryl Gerber

WYES to Air New Documentary About “Mr. Mardi Gras” Blaine Kern

09:00 January 21, 2022
By: Jariah Johnson

It is officially time to let the good times roll! Want a special surprise during this Carnival season? Well WYES has it covered with a special premiere!

It would not be Mardi Gras without honoring Mr. Mardi Gras! So, WYES is announcing the premiere of a new documentary, Blaine Kern: They Call Him Mr. Mardi Gras. The documentary narrates the life of the legendary float builder, who died in 2020. He almost single-handedly turned Mardi-Gras from a series of small exclusive parades into a billion-dollar a year tourism juggernaut. He transformed Mardi Gras into eye-popping, animated extravaganzas that drew millions of people to watch the phenomenon by reimagining and reshaping Carnival parades.

"Blaine Kern," Photo by Cheryl Gerber

The float-building business he established 75 years ago launched Carnival to numerous people of all races and backgrounds to continue building fabulous parades for krewes and clients in New Orleans and around the world. Also, he founded and grew the largest float-building business in New Orleans and the nation. Kern designed floats and parades for Disney, Universal Studios, other parts of the country, as well as the world—including China, Canada, Mexico, and Japan.

Retired WWL-TV anchor Dennis Woltering produced and narrated the colorful life story of Blaine Kern, which will be premiering Monday, February 7 at 8 p.m. on WYES/Channel 12.

The documentary will also reair during these days and times:

· Sunday, February 13 at 10 a.m.

· Monday, February 14 at 9 p.m.

· Saturday, February 19 at 7 p.m.

· Saturday, February 26 at 10 p.m.

· Sunday, February 27 at 3:30 p.m.

According to a press release from WYES, some of the people interviewed for Blaine Kern: They Call Him Mr. Mardi Gras include:

· Four of Kern's children—Blaine Kern Jr., Barry Kern, Brian Kern, and Blainey Kern

· Kern's widow, Holly Kern

· Carnival and krewe historians Errol Laborde, Arthur Hardy, Henri Schindler, Dr. Stephen Hales (Rex), Col. Clarence Becknell, Sr. (Zulu), and Al Robichaux, Jr. (Alla)

· Carnival krewe captains Owen "Pip" Brennan, Jr. (Bacchus), Sonny Borey (Orpheus), Staci Rosenberg (Muses), and Gwen Rainey (Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale)

· Longtime friends Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson and Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser

WYES is also airing a special marathon of nine hours of Mardi Gras programming on February 19 beginning at 3 p.m. with All on a Mardi Gras Day and ongoing until midnight.

For all Carnival program details, go to wyes.org/mardigras.

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