The Economic Impact of Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras is a significant event across many towns and cities in Louisiana, including Youngsville, Eunice, Crowley, and Breaux Bridge. Although one may not participate in Mardi Gras festivities, the carnival season has an impact on the entire town beyond Fat Tuesday.
Mardi Gras generates substantial revenue for Louisiana, with millions of dollars in tourism money coming from visitors who travel from other places to experience the carnival season's festivities. A 2010 economic impact study commissioned by the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission and the Greater Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association found that Mardi Gras brought approximately $110 million to the area, including $4 million in direct taxes and $9 million in overall taxes.
In 2020, the Daily Advertiser newspaper in Lafayette suggested that the economic impact in 2020 dollars would be closer to $129 million. Based on the figures from 2010, the economic impact of Mardi Gras on Lafayette is just below $150 million in 2023.
Mardi Gras visitors spend approximately $370 on food, gas, souvenirs, and other expenses. For guests who stay several days, the impact is much higher. Mardi Gras Krewes are also a significant source of income exclusive to the carnival season. In 2010, Mardi Gras Krewes generated around $400,000 in direct taxes and over $800,000 in overall taxes in Lafayette Parish. In 2023 dollars, Mardi Gras Krewes would be responsible for approximately $535,000 in direct taxes and $1.2 million in overall taxes in Lafayette Parish.
Although these figures are estimates and not official, it is clear that Mardi Gras has a significant economic impact on South Louisiana. It is good business to support Mardi Gras, whether by attending parades and festivals or simply acknowledging the positive impact it has on the local economy.