Francis Vachon/The Canadian Press
Standing on a float, Bonhomme Carnaval, mascot of the Carnaval de Quebec, salutes the crowd at the Quebec Winter Carnival parade Feb. 14, 2009.
Where: Quebec City, Que.
Economic impact: $34 million
Most Canadians know the Quebec Winter Carnival for Bonhomme, the friendly snowman mascot of the weeks-long celebration. But the Winter Carnival has become more than just a reason to trot out Bonhomme once a year; in fact, by several estimates, the carnival has evolved into the third-biggest industry in all of Quebec City. Yes, the Winter Carnival has grown since 1894, the festival's first year of existence. The February outdoor bash, the largest of outdoor winter carnival in the world, now boasts an economic impact of about $34 million for the city each year. With an annual budget of only $7.2 million, that's a large return on a festival that brings 500,000 spectators in from all over the globe.