Mobile, Ala. — You can’t have an exhibit dedicated to Mardi Gras without a float, and they have one as the centerpiece of the History Museum of Mobile’s Parading Through Time exhibit.
“It comes in six pieces, so you have the part with folly and death, the part with the cat and the cowbellians and then the part with folly on top of a champagne glass. And then the bases are in correlating three pieces so that makes the six,” said the museum’s Lani Kosik.
One by one each piece was moved into the museum, a task normally made simple by the building’s large freight elevator.
“Sure enough, the day I need to get the float up here, the freight elevator is down,” she said.
So through a huge effort, several men lugged each piece up the stairs. Each section weighs a little more than a hundred pounds, but the pieces were somewhat fragile for a reason unique to most floats you see in Mobile Mardi Gras parades.
“Because they’re made of paper mache which is a very traditional Mobile way to make floats and we really wanted to stick with that rather than going to more durable, but more New Orleans kind of canvas floats,” said Kosik.
That tradition has been adhered to by float designer Craig Stevens, who is behind dozens and dozens of float designs, including this one.
“Craig Stevens floats that you see on the streets will be made with the same process that they made them a hundred and fifty years ago,” she said.
The Parading Through Time exhibit will be open through April 20th.