While attendance may vary from year to year, according to CNN, about 1.4 million people typically attend New Orleans' Mardi Gras celebrations. The New Orleans Conventions and Visitors Bureau reports that the city's hotel rooms, which exceed 30,000 for the entire metro area, are usually 95 percent full during the holiday weekend.
Some events have a strong negative impact on Mardi Gras attendance. For example, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, about 700,000 people attended the festivities, which is an impressive number, though not as high as usual. In normal years, Mardi Gras is a huge economic boon for the New Orleans metro area, generating more than $840 million in income each year.