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Slideshow: The Real Cost of Mardi Gras

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

Photograph by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

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Food and Drinks

Supermarket sales rose $2.5 million during Mardi Gras 2011, compared with 2009, when the last study was completed. The reason: Many visitors stay with friends, says Weiss. Alcohol sales were up 30 percent, to $3.4 million. Restaurant data were harder to come by, but Weiss believes sales were down. "People aren't going out for fancy dinners during Mardi Gras," she says. Still, you've got to eat. Expect to spend about $30 for two people to breakfast or lunch at Mother's. Dinner runs $150 for two at Antoine's Restaurant. At Pat O'Brien's, two Hurricanes cost $22, but you get to keep the glass.