Mardi Gras: 15 Years of Beads, Bands and Good Times!



Where has 15 years gone? I remember fondly going to my first Mardi Gras at Universal….in April and just being overwhelmed and bogged down by thousands of glorious beads. So naturally it became a favorite. It seems to be a favorite of everyone this year as seconds after releasing the official lineup on facebook, everyone I was following on Twitter started tweeting it. But one thing you guys didnt get!!!!

Every year each Mardi Gras has a theme. Last year was literature, with most of the non standard floats having a theme after a different literary genre, such as Pirates, Adventure, and Horror(my personal favorite). This year the theme is “Heritage”. According to Kristen at Universal Orlando “The parade will pay homage to floats from past events.”

What does this mean exactly? Sounds like it’s going to be the best of the favorites from years past. 12 floats, and you have the standards that must always be used such as the Riverboat and King Gator as well as the Kings Float. But the most interesting tidbit that everyone seemed to look over is the fact that while Universal creative has created the floats in the past, this year they’ve enlisted some help to mark this momentous occasion.

“Universal worked with New Orleans-based Blaine Kern Artists, Inc. to incorporate new elements into some of the most memorable floats in the event’s history.”

Very interesting indeed. Who is Blaine Kern Artists, Inc? According to their official site they are float and prop makers, plain and simple. They’ve been doing it since 1947. Looking at their Portfolio some of the designs look familiar, but you have to wonder exactly what they can bring to Universal’s Mardi Gras celebration.

On top of that you have the lineup…which everyone else already told you……..and some killer offers, which they didnt

· More information is available at

Mardi Gras
Event Dates
(Performances at The Music Plaza)
New Orleans Band
(Performances in French Quarter)
Saturday, February 6 KC and the Sunshine Band Bryan Lee & the Blues Power Band
Saturday, February 13 Heart Lil Malcolm & the House Rockers
Sunday, February 14 Kool & the Gang Lil Malcolm & the House Rockers
Saturday, February 20 Blondie Mem Shannon & the Membership
Saturday, February 27 Dierks Bentley Chris Klein & The Boulevards
Saturday, March 6 Akon Honey Island Swamp Band
Saturday, March 13 Aretha Franklin Big Red & The Zydeco Playmakers
Saturday, March 20 Miranda Lambert Rockin’ Jake
Saturday, March 27 3 Doors Down Soul Project
Saturday, April 3 Beach Boys JJ Callier & the Zydeco Knockouts
Friday, April 9 Sheryl Crow Lil’ Brian & the Zydeco Travelers
Saturday, April 10 Flo Rida Lil’ Brian & the Zydeco Travelers
Saturday, April 17 Chicago Daddy Mac Blues Band
Mardi Gras Getaway:  Buy 3 Nights, Enjoy 2 More Free · 5-night accommodations at a hotel near Universal 

· 7 days of unlimited admission to both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure

· Early park admission to select attractions in Islands of Adventure

· Complimentary transportation to Universal Orlando Resort

· Starts at $217 per adult 

· Upgrade to an on-site hotel for as low as $477 per adult and receive complimentary Universal Express access to rides and attractions; and a reserved Mardi Gras parade viewing area at the event

Pretty diverse and solid lineup, especially with my personal favorites of the group Sheryl Crow and Aretha. How cool would it be to have Aretha come on with the Blues Brothers for one show to reprise her role from the movie? Nerdgasms all around!And as always they do have the smaller stage filled with smaller bands direct from New Orleans.

Who would you rather see…and lets remember artists that are selling out 20,000+ stadiums usually dont play these types of venues. I’m going to go for a Blues legend, BB King…dream performance there.