When you think of New Orleans, plenty of things might immediately come to mind: amazing food, live music, and Mardi Gras. The annual celebration, which takes place for around two weeks ahead of Shrove Tuesday (the day before the beginning of Catholic Lent), is a bevvy of parades, parties, and performances that culminates in one final, giant parade on Shrove Tuesday — a.k.a. Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras in French. It's a lot of fun — and a lot goes into it. Here's a quick look at New Orleans' annual Mardi Gras celebrations, by the numbers:
0: Number of people riding on floats during Mardi Gras parades who can be unmasked; float-riding without a mask on is actually against the law
$5.72: The average price of a Mardi Gras mask, in USD, according to kesq.com
10.4 million: Number of visitors to New Orleans during Mardi Gras in 2016 — the first time the city was able to reach its pre-Katrina tourism numbers.
2,000: Approximate number of Mardi Gras parades that have taken place in New Orleans since 1857
500,000: The average number of King Cakes — large, yeasted cakes covered in green, purple, and gold frosting, that conceal a tiny plastic baby — sold during Mardi Gras each year
$200,000: Amount, in U.S. dollars, that the most expensive Mardi Gras float costs
$164 billion: Total amount, in U.S. dollars, of the direct impact that Mardi Gras has on the New Orleans economy
90-95%: Percentage of hotel rooms in New Orleans that are booked a month ahead of Mardi Gras
Ready to celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans? G Adventures can get you there. Check out our Iconic Mardi Gras trip here.