LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Louisiana is one of the only places where folks wish each other a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Mardi Gras all in December.
The Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau and Mardi Gras Southwest Louisiana announced the official plans for Mardi Gras 2013 on Tuesday.
Many of the same events will be returning this year but not without some significant changes.
The Krewe of Krewes Parade is starting 30 minutes earlier than normal to accommodate the number of floats.
An indoor parade at the Lake Charles Civic Center is also being added to Twelfth Night and the Town of Vinton is joining in on the festivities with a new krewe and its very own parade.
And after this coming year's celebration, Southwest Louisiana will know just how much of an economic impact Mardi Gras has on the area.
Katie Harrington with Mardi Gras Southwest Louisiana said the Convention and Visitors Bureau has joined with McNeese State University on an economic impact study.
"And so we're really excited to be able to participate with them in that and provide some much needed data for that study. We know that the numbers are big. The last study was done in 2004, and we're just really excited. When that study was done, I think there were 41 krewes, and now, I think we're up to over 60," she explained.
The 2013 event will also include the return of the alcohol and tobacco free zone for all of the children to enjoy, free of charge.