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Slideshow: The Real Cost of Mardi Gras

By Yvette Romero - 2012-02-17T20:56:10Z

Photograph by Skip Bolen/Getty Images

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The Krewes build floats and parade them through the city. One of the oldest Krewes, Krewe of Rex, founded in 1872, will introduce the Butterfly King float on Mardi Gras day. Krewe of Bacchus will have 31 floats, including the Bacchawhoppa, an 85-foot Bacchus whale that holds 68 Krewe members. Philip Fricano Jr., captain of Krewe of King Arthur, with 485 members, says his Krewe spent $4,000 on ladders and $3,000 on fire extinguishers to make sure everyone on their floats is safe.