Posts tagged Mardi Gras World

Blaine Kern Loses Challenge to Keep Mardi Gras Float Empire

Blaine Kern, Rickey Jackson, Holly Kern on Superdome Floor

Blaine Kern, Rickey Jackson, Holly Kern on Superdome Floor

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.

Blaine Kern, 2010 People's Health Champion

Blaine Kern, 2010 People's Health Champion



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.

Judge Reese Kern

Judge Reese Kern

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.


Barry & Blaine Kern

Barry & Blaine Kern

The most renowned and biggest Mardi Gras float builder is feuding publicly again. The family organization that builds Rex, Bacchus, Orpheus, Endymion, and Zulu, among other icon parades in New Orleans has their dirty laundry out for all to see.

The son of famous Mardi Gras float designer Blaine Kern has once more filed suit against his eighty three year old father, this time claiming the elder Kern has reneged on an agreement they made in October.

Barry Kern filed suit against his father Blaine last year in an attempt to oust him from the family float business, but local Mardi Gras krewe captains built a truce.  When Barry last filed suit, key Mardi Gras Captains forged a truce which was they believed was forever but…

Barry Kern announced Thursday that he is again suing his father.  Here’s the lawsuit.

“No one is more saddened than I that my father has refused to honor the agreements we publicly made on October 5, 2010,” said Barry Kern in a statement. “I have been trying for six months to have him do so, but we cannot wait any longer. I love my dad, but I have been forced to act to protect him, my family, our company, our employees, and the best interests of Mardi Gras.”

In the suit Barry Kern alleges that Blaine Kern has interfered with his son’s managerial control in several ways, including: firing his other son, Brian Kern; demanding payments for personal expenses; reducing a contract with a client that put it below the amount needed just to meet costs; and appearing at the cash register at Mardi Gras World, demanding cash.

The original suit in October, 2010, contended that Blaine Kern had mismanaged the business, leaving it “technically insolvent.” Blaine Kern replied at the time that he had fired his son as company president for running the business into the ground.

Blaine Kern said this evening he had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment.

Blaine and Holly before marriage

Blaine and Holly before marriage

Pussyfooters Marching Club Ball to Benefit Metro Center for Women & Children


I attended this ball last year at Kern’s Mardi Gras World on the West Bank and it was a very fun time!  DJ Soul Sister was the musical highlight of the evening, her set truly kicked butt all the way across the Mighty Mississippi! The event setting, Mardi Gras World, was perfect for the event with all the surreal paper mache sculptures surrounding all event attendees.  I attended with my good friend Jack, who also had a ball!

Pussyfooter at her ball having fun

Pussyfooter at her ball having fun

Pussyfooters Ball 2010

Pussyfooters Ball 2010

For 2011, the Pussyfooter’s Blush Ball will be held at the Howlin’ Wolf, 907 South Peters Street, New Orleans on January 29, 9 pm to 2 am.  The party features Big Sam’s Funky Nation, DJ Brice Nice, the 610 Stompers, the Pussyfooters, plus a Firehouse Cook Off by the Firefighters of New Orleans.

2011 is the 10th Anniversary of the Pussyfooters, and their goal is to do something special: Party with a Purpose to raise $10,000 for the Metropolitan Center for Women & Children.

They hope to sell 800 tickets to the event. Party attendees will also have a chance to win one of 60 raffle prizes.  They have Mignon Faget jewelry, a Picasso print, hotel and dinner prizes, and spa gift certificates.

Suits remain on file against Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras float production company


Well, well, well. I thought the Kerns had kissed and made up, at the urging of Bacchus Captain Pip Brennan and Endymion Captain Ed Muniz. They may have made up publicly, but the suits Barry Kern filed to dump his Dad as head of the family company remain on file.

A separate suit filed in Orleans Parish is also continuing. In it, Mardi Gras World LLC (MGW) is suing Blaine Kern and BKA, claiming that BKA has violated its licensing agreement and moved property from MGW’s warehouse on the Mississippi riverfront.

That petition for injunction was filed Sept. 15 and claims that the defendants “removed inventory from the plaintiff’s business and have threatened to continue to remove inventory.” MGW and BKA have a licensing deal, a copy of which was attached to the petition, that grants MGW “exclusive license” for all property – including floats, props, costumes and sculptures – possessing a “Mardi Gras theme.”

According to court papers, MGW sought a temporary restraining order against BKA to prevent Blaine Kern or his employees from removing any more Mardi Gras property. A September hearing was continued until Oct. 28 after plaintiffs filed an amended petition for injunction.

New Orleans attorneys Randall Smith, Stephen Gele and Zach Butterworth represent Barry Kern.

New Orleans attorney Stephen Dwyer represents MGW.

New Orleans attorney Marc Stein is listed as the registered agent for BKA.

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