Sunshine + Mardi Gras World: How John Deere Products Help Power One of the World's Largest Carnivals

posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 in Dealer News

When you think of Sunshine Quality Solutions and John Deere, you probably think of a farmer working the land, or even a homeowner performing lawn maintenance. 

While it’s true we love helping growers and residential customers alike, every now and then our John Deere tractors get to flex their muscles with something a little more festive: Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras World is a Louisiana icon. Inside Mardi Gras World, you’ll find Kern Studios, an operating workshop that has created incredible floats for Mardi Gras and other parades across the globe since 1947. These fanciful creations are works of art unto themselves, but in order for the masses to enjoy them, they have to make the trip from the 300,000-square-foot workshop space onto the streets of New Orleans. 

Sunshine Mardi Gras World 1

So, what does Barry Kern, President & CEO of Kern Studios & Mardi Gras World, and his team look for when choosing the right tractors to make Mardi Gras happen? 


Big floats need big tractors. The floats created at Mardi Gras World are larger than life. Throughout Mardi Gras season, tractors will work to pull roughly 1,000 floats from the workshop floor onto parade routes. 

Royalty floats are the smallest units built at Kern Studios and can hold 10-12 people. The biggest floats created by the company can carry 60-70 people on a single unit. Sometimes as many as 10 of these units are hooked together, pulled one behind another. Because of this, several hundred people may be pulled at once. 

Each float’s chassis has a capacity of 30 tons, meaning roughly 100 tons may be pulled at any given time. That takes some serious horsepower. You know what that means: Not just any tractor can pull these bad boys. Mardi Gras World looks to the John Deere 6 Series, specifically the 6105E Utility Tractor and 6110M Utility Tractor, to get the job done. 

Sunshine Mardi Gras World

Ease of Use

A tractor’s ease of use is key when it comes to making sure these amazing floats get to their final destination safely. The team at Sunshine Quality Solutions loves connecting each customer with the tractor that best suits their needs, and this is no exception! 

By relying on the John Deere 6105E and 6110M, the team at Mardi Gras World knows that not only do they have the power they need to handle the task, but the tractors are so user friendly that parade day is sure to flow smoothly. 120 tractors rolling out of Mardi Gras World at once also means 120 drivers are put to the task of seeing that the floats can greet parade-goers without any issues. Each driver needs to be able to easily get in the tractor and understand its operation so parade timelines go off without a hitch. 

By providing excellent John Deere equipment, Mardi Gras World ensures their turnkey status with customers. Krewes entrust the Mardi Gras World team to bring their float dreams to life. Mardi Gras World, in part with help from Sunshine Quality Solutions and John Deere, then ensures that their one-of-a-kind creations will arrive safely and efficiently from point A to point B. 

Sunshine Mardi Gras World


The floats produced at Kern Studios take hundreds of hours to make. To be more specific, the team estimates that a project can take up to four weeks from conception to completion, depending on the complexity of the job. Each float is crafted by hand with loving care and great attention to detail. 

By the time Mardi Gras begins, seamlessly pulling these beauties down their respective parade routes is like lighting the candle on top of a birthday cake. If anything were to go wrong, the whole experience could be pretty underwhelming. That’s why Kern Studios and Mardi Gras World rely on high-quality John Deere tractors from Sunshine to get the job done. 

In fact, 33 tractors in the fleet utilized by Mardi Gras World are John Deere tractors from Sunshine. Avoiding breakdowns isn’t just a matter of convenience; it’s a safety concern as well. By having tractors they can depend on, Mardi Gras World works with both krewes and law enforcement to make sure the good times do in fact continue to roll. 

Sunshine Mardi Gras World

Check out the short video below to hear from President & CEO of Kern Studios & Mardi Gras World, Barry Kern, and Buddy Dunn, Senior Project & Logistics Manager. 

Sunshine Quality Solutions has proudly provided Mardi Gras World withohn Deere equipment since 1990. To learn more about how our team can equip you to handle your next project, contact your local dealer. In the meantime, laissez les bons temps rouler!