Private organizations known as krewes run Fat Tuesday parades and floats around the world. Belonging to a krewe allows the member to appear in a particular parade or ride on the krewe’s float. For small marching groups, membership fees can be as low as $20 a year. But for zealous krewes seeking to put on an unforgettable display, membership can cost you thousands.
King’s Cake is another popular tradition associated with Mardi Gras. Colorful cakes are baked with a small plastic doll hidden somewhere inside of it, often said to represent Baby Jesus. Traditionally, the person who receives the piece of cake containing the trinket is afforded special privileges for the rest of the Carnival season, which culminates in the celebration of Ash Wednesday. But with great cake comes great responsibility: the doll’s finder is tasked with supplying the cake or hosting the following year’s party.
As Mardi Gras has become more popular throughout the past few years, more and more celebration locations have come to the forefront. Universal Studios Florida now has an extended Mardi Gras experience each year that caters to families. While it is as crowded and extravagant as most other celebrations, many Mardi Gras purists do not believe that the tradition belongs in a theme park.