With Mardi Gras events canceled, Acadiana’s economy could take a big hit

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(The Advertiser)

LAFAYETTE, La. (The Advertiser)- With many of Lafayette and Acadiana’s Mardi Gras festivities canceled in 2021 due to COVID-19, the area’s tourism industry could take a significant financial toll.

As the pandemic continues to rage across Louisiana, local krewes and other groups have already pulled the trigger on canceling events such as Lafayette’s Mardi Gras parades, more than a dozen individual krewe parades and the majority of krewe balls have been postponed.

The Mardi Gras season is typically a boon for local restaurants and retail businesses, but they will have to rely on locals during the 2021 season.

“While it will be impossible to make up for the economic loss of not having Mardi Gras this year, we can all still do our part by making an emphasis on eating out and supporting our locally owned restaurants and shopping at local retail businesses that are some of the many beneficiaries of the visitor spending associated with large celebrations like Mardi Gras,” said Ben Berthelot, the president and CEO of the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Convention.

“Small things like buying an extra King Cake and shipping it to a friend or family member in another part of the country or buying supplies from local Mardi Gras businesses and decorating your house or yard can all go a long way if we all do our part,” Berthelot added.

The 2010 study, commissioned by the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission and the Greater Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association, showed that the celebration brought in more than $110 million, with more than $4 million in direct taxes and more than $9 million in overall taxes for the parish.

Adjusted for inflation, the $110 million in 2010 is about $130.6 million in 2021 dollars, if other factors are consistent, The Advertiser reported.

Read The Advertiser’s full story on Mardi Gras’ regional economic impact here.

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