Kern’s death was announced by his wife on Facebook overnight. Kern went into a coma Wednesday night, before passing away, according to the post.
Kern is known for designing and building Mardi Gras floats, and is credited with making New Orleans Mardi Gras the spectacle it is today.
In 1984, Kern opened Mardi Gras World, which draws hundreds of thousands of visitors every year and provides an up-close look at what it takes to construct Mardi Gras floats.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell praised Kern as a Mardi Gras innovator: