NEW ORLEANS —With Mardi Gras floats parked across the street, people made their way into Gallier Hall to remember Blaine Kern who died two weeks ago at the age of 93.
Kern funeral service included a public viewing from 8:00 to 11:00 this morning followed by a private viewing until noon.
Kern is being remembered for his vision and artistry that expanded New Orleans reputation globally beyond its celebrated food and jazz music.
“Now when you think of New Orleans, you also think of great times, parties, carnival festivities, because of Blaine Kern,” Congressman Steve Scalise told WGNO News after attending the visitation.
Kern founded his company after World War II. He grew up in Algiers and began working with the Krewe of Alla. Then Kern added the Rex organization. From there, he added the super krewes as well as smaller ones.
Carnival became bigger in the city and the world noticed. It was all thanks to decades of work from a dedicated float maker and his family.
“The early days of carnival when it was being transformed from Bacchus, and Endymeon, the growth in the 70s, I was a kid at that time and rode in all the parades in the station wagon and saw it grow as I grew,” Kern’s son Brian told WGNO.
“Believing that anything is possible, and being able to entertain tens of millions of people over the years, has been his dream and mission,” added Blaine Kern, Junior.
Kern’s services also included military honors and catholic mass. His wife Holly, son Barry and Mayor LaToya Cantrell were among the speakers.