Krewe of Mid City Main Den Welcomes You to Become
Part of History
The Krewe of Mid-City
was founded by Charles A. Bourgeois and the Mid-City
Civic Association in the early 1930’s. Mr.
Bourgeois created the Krewe’s motto, “Pour
La Joie de Vivre” (“For the Joy of
Living”) and designed the familiar interlocking
heart emblem -- both are still in use today. Mr.
Bourgeois and his wife, Gertrude, were the first
monarchs of Mid-City reigning over the Krewe’s
inaugural parade; comprised of six small, mule-drawn
floats, a few bands and mounted riders, the parade
was themed “Romance of 1934.”
innovative “firsts” were introduced
to the Mardi Gras tradition by Mid-City and the
Krewe was the first to use animation in float
designs (1947). This early motion was achieved
by volunteer Boy Scouts who were concealed inside
the floats working several mechanisms, including
pedaling stationary bikes to turn cables and gears
on external devices.
Artist and painter Roy Kern
was the earliest designer of Mid-City’s
famous colorfully decorated foil floats and eventually
passed on the tradition to his daughter, Bettie
Memorable Bettie Rae Kern
theme designs included “Toyland,”
“Fairies,” and “Magic.”
Her “Candy” theme (1955) was accentuated
by having the floats spray the smell of the particular
candy (licorice, peppermint and cotton candy,
for instance) represented by the float titles.
Ms. Kern’s many years of sparkling fantasy
helped set Mid-City apart very early on from other
parades and helped to create the special appeal
that endeared Mid-City to generations of New Orleanians
over the years.
Upon the death of Ms. Kern
in 1992 the design torch was passed to Royal Artists
who produced parade themes until 1998. Sadly,
Royal Artists were unable to duplicate many of
the secret techniques and applications innovated
by Ms. Kern and the dazzle of earlier years seemed
lost. But from within the ranks of Royal Artists
there existed one designer who had studied directly
under the tutelage of Ms. Kern in the early part
of his career. Ricardo Pustanio stepped forward
to begin redesigning and recreating the innovative
work of Ms. Kern to fit a new era, and his work
and dedication for the 1996 through 1998 parade
seasons earned him the prestigious position of
Artist / Designer for the Krewe of Mid-City. In
the fall of 1998 he left Royal Artists to assume
the new position full-time.
In a record three months,
Ricardo produced his premiere theme, “Love
is in the Air,” and introduced many of his
signature designs and recreations of many of Ms.
Kern’s designs that had been closely guarded
secrets appeared in new mediums and expressions.
Ricardo truly re-invented the dazzling tradition
of the Mid-City parade, taking it full speed ahead
into the new millennium.
With an eye to the past, Ricardo
set out to thank those who had preceded him with
his 2003 theme, “Foiled Again,” marking
the Krewe’s 70th Anniversary year. His personal
homage to founder Charles Bourgeois was a heart-filled
float entitled “Romance of 1934” and
Ricardo acknowledged the many years of excellence
produced by Bettie Rae Kern with the dazzling
“Oops! I’m Foiled Again!” Even
Royal Artists got a nod with a float dedicated
to their theme, “Hold Onto Your Hat
The infusion of Ricardo Pustanio’s
innovative new techniques and original handmade
foil designs brought new life to parade and Krewe
alike and helped set new standards in Mardi Gras
parade design. His glittering creations of foil
flora and fauna and uniquely humorous interpretations
of the familiar and oddball have caught the eye
of everyone from parade goers to critics. His
talent, efforts and dedication have been instrumental
in securing for Mid-City the coveted title of
“Best Day Parade” for three of the
last four years, with only Rex overshadowing Mid-City
as Best Overall Parade of 2004.
The 2004 Mardi Gras season
also saw the spectacular night-time debut of Ricardo’s
Mid-City work when the Krewe of Ancient Druids
took a Mid-City float on loan for it’s night
time roll through Uptown. The float, re titled“MidSortaUptownCity”
for the night, was brimming with added glamour
and glitz including lights (a Mid-City first)
and new foiled creations that wowed the crowds
on the traditional Uptown parade route. One onlooker
even observed, “Just think if he (Ricardo)
started doing night parades!” Hmmmm….
The Krewe of Mid-City is the
fifth oldest continuously parading organization
of the New Orleans Mardi Gras season and it continues
to dazzle and awe under the creative eye and genius
of Ricardo Pustanio. The Krewe's Foil covered
floats are the only ones of their type used in
the New Orleans Mardi Gras. some locals say it
rivals the Rose Bowl Parade in shear beauty. This
is definitely the Parade watchers parade to see
But, as much as entertainment
and artistic achievement, dedication and community
service are also cornerstones that have distinguished
the Krewe of Mid-City over the generations.
Each year, Mid-City selects
a boy and girl from the Ronald McDonald House
to serve as honorary King and Queen, reigning
over the traditional Sunday-before-Mardi Gras
ride. The Krewe also invites honorary guests to
serve as Grand Marshal each year; these participants
are chosen for their devotion and contribution
to the New Orleans community and throughout the
region. Additionally, Mid-City keeps alive one
of the oldest traditions of Mardi Gras –
The Battle of the Bands competition"The Greatest
Bands in America" in which many of America’s
premiere high school bands travel to New Orleans
every year to march in the parade and compete
for the prestigious title.
With it’s colorful history,
honored traditions, splendid artistic focus, and
dedication to community, the Krewe of Mid-City
truly demonstrates their motto “Pour La
Joie de Vivre” in everything they do!
of Mid-City! POUR LA JOIE DE VIVRE!!
The Krewe of
Mid-City parade route had a successful relocation
to St. Charles Avenue. Our move brought a lot
of excitement, even though it carries the bittersweet
element of leaving our traditional route.
In 2007, witness the 74th
Krewe of Mid City Parade. The Parade will travel
the traditional Uptown New Orleans St. Charles
route, beginning on Napoleon at Magazine St..
The Krewe of Mid city then
will turn on Canal at University Place and at
South Peters, and finish in front of the New Orleans
Sheraton Hotel. The Krewe Of Mid City's Parade
reviewing stand is at the New Orleans Hotel Intercontinental
on St. Charles Avenue, but anywhere along the
route is a great place to be for the Super Sunday
of Mardi Gras parades.
Come see our one-of-a-kind
foil-covered, Decorated Mardi Gras floats. Designed
By renowned internationally known New Orleans
Artist Ricardo Pustanio. His Work with foil is
totally unique and breath taking beautiful. His
one of a kind hand made designs is what makes
the Krewe Of Mid city so totally unique to Mardi
Gras and Garnishes it as the Best Day Parade in
New Orleans Mardi Gras. No Mardi Gras visit to
New Orleans is complete unless you witness this
extraordinary Mardi Gras Parade.
The Krewe of Mid City Parade
has been voted " The Best New Orleans Mardi
Gras, Day Parade" for many years by Gambit
Magazine. The Krewe of Mid City sponsors a Battle
of the Bands each year that draws bands from all
over the country to compete.
Hotel Inter-Continental 444 St. Charles Ave.,
where "The Greatest Bands in America"
showcase takes place.
Krewe Of Mid city Mardi Gras
Throws include collectors-edition stuffed animals,
beads, doubloons, cups, medallions, Frisbees,
and our specially-printed Krewe Of Mid City Zapps
The Krewe Of Mid City
Parade start time is 11:45 am.