LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's that time of the year again. Mardi Gras season kicks off this Saturday, Jan. 6, at the Lake Charles Civic Center for the Twelfth Night celebration.
One local business, Nelson's Donuts, has already started preparing by putting up Mardi Gras decorations and bringing back King Cake's on the menu.
Kevin Rodgers, the owner of Nelson's Donuts, said sales triple during Mardi Gras season.
"We probably see anywhere between 200 to 300 more customers on a weekend and about 100 more on a weekday," said Rodgers.
Rodgers said he usually hires three to four people during Mardi Gras to help out, starting prep the night before so customers won't have to wait in a long line.
"We get to work around 11 p.m. during Mardi Gras season," said Rodgers. "You either go to bed early or you just stay up."
However, business isn't just booming from King Cake. According to a 2012 study done by the SWLA Visitors Bureau, the economic impact from Mardi Gras in Lake Charles is more than $16 million.
Angie Manning, Communications Director for the Southwest Louisiana Visitor's Bureau, said given the area's growth, that number is expected to be even higher this year.
Manning also said Mardi Gras' unique experience is what keeps people coming back.
"It's just different," said Manning. "It celebrates an authentic culture and it's a worldwide brand, everybody knows about Mardi Gras and everybody's is a little bit different depending on where you are."
For more information on Mardi Gras events, parade routes and everything that's new for the 2018 season visit http://www.visitlakecharles.org/swlamardigras/