Posts tagged Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World
This is the second entry that goes on both my blogs- Watchopp and my Mardi Gras blog as well. We can thank the Legislative Auditor‘s office for this one, they released the report that the Kerns used the movie tax credits to build floats in 2006 instead of their unfinished documentary, Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras: Building of the Greatest Free Show on Earth. The Kerns own Mardi Gras World, a New Orleans institution. They build REX, Bacchus, Orpheus, Endymion, Muses, and Alla, among others.
Barry Kern’s huge response to the Auditor report states that the practices the Kerns followed were somewhat widespread at the time among live entertainment documentaries that applied for the tax credit during the same time period. Those productions include Jazz Fest, Voodoo Fest and Essence Fest. That’s pretty esteemed company for the Kerns to be keeping. I guess French Quarter Festival kept their nose clean on this live entertainment documentary mess. Good for them!!
Barry Kern thinks his dad, Blaine Kern Sr., notified the Legislative Auditor about the tax credit situation. That made Barry Kern very mad. If Dad’s objective was to make Barry mad, it worked. The Kern family is in the middle of well known legal battle for control of the Kern empire. Barry started the legal feud, and Blaine is doing his best to continue it. This is the juiciest, saddest public legal family battle we’ve seen in quite some time. My condolences to all involved.
The big news in the case is at the end of February 2012, the Louisiana Appeals Court overturned the lower court and gave Kern Sr. back control. They threw out the deal the Kerns brokered with the key Mardi Gras Captains, and lifted the temporary injunction against Kern Sr.
That means the lawsuit, in which Barry Kern accused his father of ruining the company, will go back to Orleans Civil District Court for a full hearing.
Barry Kern now has 14 days to appeal the ruling to the full Fourth Circuit bench for a rehearing. Otherwise, the case will be sent back for trial before Judge Kern Reese.
So if the elder Kern is back running the business, why would he contact the Legislative Auditor and draw attention to the possible misuse of tax credits? To embarrass Barry for sure is probably the only reason. The elder Kern oversaw the building of those floats, not his son, more than five years ago.
The Kerns’ movie was billed as a look at the history, design, building and production of Carnival and Mardi Gras floats, with a focus on the 2007 season, according to the Legislative Auditor’s report.
The past year has seen a few upheavals in the topsy turvy world of Carnival. Blaine Kern Sr was knocked out of action by his son in the Louisiana Court of Appeals, you can thank Sr’s new bride for much of Mr Mardi Gras’ problems.
It doesn’t appear that any of the Kern’s major Mardi Gras float building accounts have moved on. Rex, Bacchus, Orpheus, Muses, Alla, Endymion are all built by Kern enterprises for decades.
Jefferson Parish began the slow process of upgrading their parades. This is a very good idea, as their parades had slid considerably since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
For 2012, Gretna loses their most historic Mardi Gras Day parade, Grela, the West Bank’s only local celebration on Fat Tuesday.
Gretna stopped funding Mardi Gras in April when officials had to choose between paying for Mardi Gras activities and giving money to the Gretna Heritage Festival.
Yes, Gretna Fest has grown into a really nice festival, but Grela is Jefferson Parish’s oldest Carnival krewe. Gretna Fest has a huge budget with the dozens of bands that play the several day festival. They have corporate funding, charge a cover charge to enter the Festival, and sell a lot of food, drinks, and beer. They certainly could have covered the $30,000 much much easier than Grela could, and this is an obvious fact the Council should have seen a mile off.
Therefore, a Carnival Jeer goes out to the Gretna City Council for backing the total wrong horse with this poor decision in April 2011. The krewe was founded in 1947 as a men’s club, but it changed its name to Grela, an acronym for Gretna, La.
Earlier this year Rhea, another Jefferson Parish krewe, called it quits. Rhea was formed in 1969, making this parade over 40 years old! It began as an all woman parade, but became coed in later years. Rhea was the first Jefferson parade to roll down Veterans Boulevard, and the one of the few Jefferson parades to hold their ball in the Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans.
One relatively new, local, and all male marching group, the 610 Stompers, marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Wow! The Stompers’ over the top dance routines flabbergasted Matt Lauer and Al Roker, it was a real New Orleans moment in New York City on national TV. They also appeared on the Hoda & Kathie Lee Show. That’s a lot of national attention for our homegrown group, and it’s well deserved!
From whereyat.com’s article on the Stompers-
What makes these men so special is not only their uncanny ability to entertain crowds, but also the motivation behind the uniforms. What started as a plan to start an all male dance school to help pay for their Saints season tickets in their namesake section 610, has turned into an incredible medium to have fun while help others. Underneath those mustaches of manliness lie men with hearts larger than most. Since their formation in 2009, the 610 Stompers have raised and donated over $100,000 to charity. They were asked to be this year’s “Corporate Chair” of the Light the Night Walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Louisiana and Mississippi, released a Stomp Out Breast Cancer video with Touro Infirmary, and have partnered with over 13 local and national foundations where their dance moves have helped those less fortunate. They have mastered having fun with making a difference. At this year’s 610 Ball they gave $610 to each of over 20 local charities, which at first glance doesn’t seem like a lot. However, these grants more often doubled the charities’ operating budgets making a profound impact on our citizens and local community.
The first new full-fledged Carnival parade in Orleans Parish since before Hurricane Katrina, Nyx won approval from the City Council on a 6-0 vote to amend the 2012 calendar and schedule Nyx after the Druids parade on the Uptown route the Wednesday before Mardi Gras.
The city’s last new parading krewe was Morpheus in 2002, a year after Muses and the Knights of Chaos made their debuts.
From their web site:
“Three native New Orleans women always loved the traditions, pageantry, and fun of Mardi Gras. For years they admired the floats and loved the bands. They enjoyed how much the kids’ faces would light up when they caught stuffed or beaded treasures. The women adored how the crowds screamed to the riders “Throw me something!”
2012 forecast will continue with part 3 in the near future.
Once again, suing your aged dad, granted he’s under the spell of his much younger wife, never is a good idea. It doesn’t matter if you win in the Appeals Court, which the son, Barry, did. Karma works against you when you sue your dad, especially if he’s over 83 years old!
The Kerns build REX, BACCHUS, ENDYMION, MUSES, ORPHEUS, ALLA, CAESAR, and many, many other parades around the metro area, region, and world. Therefore, lots of money and responsibility come with the territory, and the Mardi Gras crowds annually depend on the Kerns via REX, etc.
A state appeals panel has upheld the court-ordered transfer of control over Blaine Kern Artists Inc. to the Mardi Gras magnate’s son, Barry Kern.
The one-sentence ruling Tuesday denied the elder Kern’s challenge to an April ruling by Civil District Court Judge Kern Reese that enforced a father-son deal convected last year. That deal was intended to quell a family rift that threatened float production for a number of the largest Carnival parades.
The deal, brokered by three prominent Carnival captains, called for Blaine Kern Sr. to sell all of his shares to his son and for the board of directors to turn over management control of the 54-year-old Mardi Gras giant to Barry Kern, 48, at a shareholders meeting. But Blaine Kern stood pat, and no such meeting or vote took place.
At issue, Barry Kern argued, was the financial stability of the company. He twice filed suit against his father during the past year, saying the 83-year-old Kern Sr. had meddled with management and sapped its cash reserves.
Barry Kern cast blame on his father’s fourth wife, Holly Brown-Kern, claiming his father’s spending on houses, cars and other luxuries had ballooned since his marriage to Brown-Kern, while his debt had mounted and he began seeking cash advances from the company.
Blaine Kern’s attorney, William Wessel, could not be reached for comment late Wednesday on the 3-0 decision by a panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal, finding “no error” in Reese’s ruling.
In ruling for Barry Kern in April, Reese called the need to safeguard Mardi Gras “way bigger” to the world than a father-son rift.
Under his order, the company’s four shareholders — Blaine and Barry Kern and Barry’s siblings, Brian and Blainey — met April 25 at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World to elect three directors who, in turn, named Barry Kern president.
The owner of the world-famous Mardi Gras World has been ordered to relinquish his title and give ownership of the float-building company to his son.
Orleans Parish Civil District Judge Reese Kern made the ruling today, forcing Blaine Kern Sr. to hand over ownership of the company to Barry Kern at a shareholders meeting April 26.
Blaine Kern Sr. founded the company more than 50 years ago and provides floats for the majority of Mardi Gras Krewes that ride during New Orleans’ carnival season, including Rex, Bacchus, Endymion, Alla, Orpheus, and Caesar.
Barry Kern filed a suit against his father Oct. 1, 2010, to evict him “from any directorial or officer position” and to appoint “a receiver to manage and/or dissolve” Blaine Kern Artists (BKA).
That lawsuit made headlines across southeast Louisiana and, and just two days later, the Times-Picayune reported that an intermediary team composed of the Captains of Endymion and Bacchus had stepped in for Blaine and Barry Kern and resolved their differences.
Six months later, Barry Kern sued his father again, claiming Blaine Kern Sr. “failed and refused to consummate the agreement.” A violation of the October agreement requires the violating party to pay $100,000 to the other party, according to the suit.
The suit alleged that Blaine Kern Sr. had agreed in part to sell his shares of the company to Barry Kern, “including payment of debts of Blaine Kern, Sr., lease of facilities owned by Blaine Kern Sr., and a lifetime consulting contract with Blain Kern Sr.”
Blaine Kern Sr. improperly acted as a manager of BKA, the suit alleged. Kern allegedly fired his other son, Brian Kern, asked for BKA to pay his personal expenses and demanded the cashier at Mardi Gras World to give him money from the cash register.
The suit claimed “Blaine Kern Sr. has no right to exercise any managerial control over BKA. “The agreements between Barry and Blaine Kern were arranged by Owen “Pip” Bennan, the captain of the Mardi Gras krewe Bacchus, the suit said.
The meetings resulted in a seven-point letter of intent and a four-point agreement, which essentially transferred control of BKA from father to son. Soon after the agreement was announced, a recorded offer of settlement was filed in Orleans Parish on Oct. 5, according to court documents. The case remains active under Judge Michael Bagneris.
The original suit stated Barry Kern is seeking control of BKA because his father, 83, has acted under the influence of his fourth wife, Holly Brown, who is nearly 50 years younger than him.
The October suit alleged that Blaine Kern’s spending has made BKA “technically insolvent” and that the company has bounced payroll checks to employees. It also claims that Blaine Kern named Brown as co-captain and treasurer of Blaine Kern’s Krewe of Halloween in the Boo Carre, which has failed to make timely payments on equipment and materials provided by BKA.
The suit also makes the claim that Blaine Kern improperly fired Barry Kern, who was named president of BKA in 1995 after successfully running similar companies in Europe, Las Vegas and Orlando. Barry Kern has since resigned as president even though the suit claims Blaine Kern had no authority to fire his son.
Brown is not mentioned in the most recent suit filed by Barry Kern.
New Orleans attorneys Randall Smith, Stephen Gele and Melissa Desormeaux are representing Kern.
The dominant float building company in New Orleans continues to air its dirty laundry publicly. A hearing has been scheduled for Friday in the civil suit filed by Barry Kern, who once again, is suing for control of the New Orleans float-building enterprise that his father, Blaine Kern Sr., founded.
This is the biggest float production company in New Orleans, and possibly the world. They build Rex, Bacchus, Endymion, Muses, Orpheus, Alla, and many other parades. They travel around the world building floats and props for a myriad of uses and users.
Barry Kern, the president of Blaine Kern Artists, is seeking an injunction to keep his 83-year-old father “from interfering with the management of the company,” said Randall Smith, the younger Kern’s attorney. Barry Kern must be awfully upset to sue his octogenarian father. When you sue your elderly parent, you generally lose the public relations battle before it starts.
This is the latest chapter in a feud that went public last fall, when Barry Kern filed a suit alleging that Blaine Kern Artists was a company in fiscal crisis. He laid much of the blame at the feet of Holly Brown Kern, the elder Kern’s fourth wife, saying she was responsible for a big increase in her husband’s spending, often with company money.
Now I have some experience with Holly Brown Kern from before she was married to Blaine, and she controlled him pretty good back then. I am sure Holly is pulling a lot of strings behind the scenes now.
That dispute was settled in an agreement between the Kerns that was witnessed by leaders of three major Carnival organizations: Bacchus, Endymion and Rex, who also are longtime Kern clients.
But in the suit filed this week, Barry Kern claimed his father had not lived up to the pact, in which he agreed to sell his stock in the company to his son and attend a shareholders meeting where Barry Kern, 48, would be elected president. Whoever failed to live up to these terms would have to pay $100,000 plus attorneys fees to the other Kern, the agreement stated.
“We need to resolve who’s running the company so that customers can feel comfortable about paying their bills and move forward with planning for Mardi Gras 2012,” Smith said.
Judge Kern Reese will conduct the 9 a.m. hearing.