PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The annual Mardi Gras celebration on the North Side wraps up next Tuesday night with the crowning of the new “Mardi Gras King.” He’s also the long-time king of a fantasy world called “Randyland.”
It’s a kaleidoscopic world of multicolored “masterpieces” created from other people’s junk. Owner Randy Gilson gives free tours almost every afternoon.
“I found things all over the North Side of the city of Pittsburgh,” he explains. “Brought everything in and this is what happened, and everybody likes to come and visit me. And now I’m going to be a king, I guess, huh?”
Next week, on Fat Tuesday, he’ll be crowned king of the North Side Mardi Gras.
“I’m a prince today,” he assures us. “I’m only a prince. I’m not a king yet.”
He bought a rundown house and lot for $10,000, cleaned it up, started painting, and Randyland was born. It’s open free to the public almost every afternoon.
Randy says neighbors helped paint more a dozen repurposed doors.
“We had a neighborhood party here, and they all came up with all the kids and families, and they painted all those doors,” he said.
Randy says he’s had visitors from 100 countries.
A woman from Cleveland, who’s also an artist, says, “I’d love to do a house like this, but my husband there won’t let me do the house like this!”
A visitor from Detroit marvels at the collection of reclaimed objects.
“In our time of ecological looking at, what do we do with our stuff, this is really amazing,” she says.
The future king of Mardi Gras has a royal touch.