Photogaph by Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times/Redux
While visiting New Orleans, Blaine Kern Studios, a well-known Mardi Gras float builder, lets visitors tour the warehouses where the floats and the tractors to pull them are housed. You can learn about both the history of Mardi Gras and the art of float building. Other tour operators in town also profit from Mardi Gras-related business. Weiss estimates aggregate expenditures for such services as a result of Mardi Gras at $4.2 million in 2011.