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Money Sense: How does Mardi Gras money impact Lafayette? - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Money Sense: How does Mardi Gras money impact Lafayette?

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LAFAYETTE -

Mardi Gras season brings to mind beads, floats, king cakes and costumes, but what about all the money it takes to make it happen?

In this week's Money Sense, KATC took a look at what Mardi Gras means for Lafayette and its economy.

When the hub city's economy needs a good boost, Lafayette Travel President Ben Berthelot said the carnival season is one of its best money makers every year.

"I'd definitely say it's one of our big three. Along with Festival International and Festival Acadiens et Creole," said Berthelot.

That's thanks in part to the nearly 275,000 people who flock to the city for the festivities. On average, spending about $370 a piece, and catching at least four parades.

"About $100 million in expenditures by folks participating in Mardi Gras," said Berthelot.

That number doesn't include the revelers who put the parades on.

"An additional $3 million spent by the krewes," said Berthelot.

And as for all those carnival catches from the krewes, we learned a little bit about in last week's Money Sense:

"The average person has no idea how much throws cost," said Mardi Gras krewe member Nelda Broussard.

"And an additional $6.8 million spent by their members," said Berthelot.

That brings the total up to more than $110 million. That total is from data collected when the last study was done, 8 years ago. 

Berthelot said since then the numbers have gone up even higher. 

"Since 2010, we've actually grown. We have Rio now, which was last weekend, and we had good pick up from that. Then you've got parades in Youngsville, which has become a very big parade. Carencro had their parade," said Berthelot.

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