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A look back at Blaine Kern's contributions to Mardi Gras; 'You can't say enough about it'

“What Walt Disney was to Disneyland and Disney World Blaine Kern was to the city of New Orleans and Mardi Gras."

NEW ORLEANS — You know that if we could, the streets would be filled with people second lining for Blaine Kern whose death was announced on Friday.

“I know Blaine would want to go out in style, and it’s just sad that I don’t think it’s going to happen right now,” said Dan Kelly.

“I’m sure they’re doing it for him in heaven. I’m sure all the past captains and past krewe members are up there celebrating with him,” said Sonny Borey.

Borey is the captain of the Krewe of Orpheus. He says Mardi Gras floats like King Kong, Ponchartrain Beach, or The Shoe are products of Kern’s genius and hard work.

“Look at what he’s created for the city of New Orleans, you can’t say enough about it,” said Borey.

Borey says Orpheus was founded in 1993 on the idea of inclusion, that anybody of good character could be a member of the Krewe. He says Kern fully backed the idea for the new Krewe.

“I don’t want to say we could not have done it without him, but it would have been harder,” said Borey.

“What Walt Disney was to Disneyland and Disney World Blaine Kern was to the city of New Orleans and Mardi Gras,” said Dan Kelly.

Kelly is the president of Krewe of Endymion. He’s known kern for 50 years. Kelly says a pivotal time in that span was 2005, when Kern made the sure the “greatest free show” would go on after Hurricane Katrina.

“Blaine called everyone together and says, we got to have Mardi Gras 2006 we have to have it, and he was the driving force to make that happen and it did, and it just kept growing from there,” said Kelly.

The size of floats and krewes kept growing, but because of the pandemic, the future of Mardi Gras is cloudy. Kelly says he knows, Kern would be pushing for it as he did in 2005.

“Mardi Gras is the soul of New Orleans. We have to have it,” said Kelly.

Obviously, there was Mardi Gras before Blaine Kern, but many will tell you it never will be the same after him.

RELATED: Blaine Kern Sr., "Mr. Mardi Gras" and founder of float building empire, dies at 93

RELATED: Endymion celebrates historic dynasties with this year's parade theme

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