The biggest celebration of the year so far will have a ripple effect on the lake's economy.


More than 5,000 people attended the 10th annual Lake of the Ozarks Mardi Gras, according to early estimates. Though, event organizers believe that number could skyrocket as they finish counting wristbands and t-shirts sold for the event.


With so many people flocking to the lake for the festivities, businesses say they'll get a boost from their spending.


The biggest celebration of the year so far will have a ripple effect on the lake's economy.

More than 5,000 people attended the 10th annual Lake of the Ozarks Mardi Gras, according to early estimates. Though, event organizers believe that number could skyrocket as they finish counting wristbands and t-shirts sold for the event.

With so many people flocking to the lake for the festivities, businesses say they'll get a boost from their spending.

Jyll Green at Quail's Nest Inn & Suites, in Osage Beach, said the hotel was completely booked Saturday night and had been for more than a week leading up to the pub crawl.

"We could have had another 100 rooms and filled them up with all the calls we got," Green said.

Other hotels in Osage Beach reported similar stories.

In Lake Ozark, each venue along the Strip and Bagnell Dam Boulevard proudly displayed a "no vacancy" sign.

Even places off the pub crawl route saw a little extra business.

Fred Dehner, the general manager of Tan-Tar-A Resorts, said things picked up a little over the weekend, but the resort wasn't booked to capacity.

Dehner was more excited to hear that other businesses saw a boost.

Besides overnight stays, Green said she saw people spending money on food, gas and at the Osage Beach Premium Outlets.

Several stores at the Osage Beach center reported above-average crowds and sales over the weekend.

"It's great for the area," Green said about the shoppers.

The Mardi Gras Pub Crawl is the first large event of the year. The boating season officially kicks off with spring's Harbor Hop on May 7.

Contact Deanna Wheeler at deanna.wheeler@lakesunonline.com.