Mardi Gras Parade Goers: The Top 10 Throws To Catch!
It's that time once again. The Mardi Gras Balls have started, and the parades follow shortly thereafter. And beginning this weekend, the parades will ramp up through Mardi Gras day-which is March 5th this year.
I've been part of dozens and dozens of Mardi Gras Parades over the years; with many of those riding IN the parades. And obviously watching them too. So - from that personal experience - and from others who have expressed requests (sometimes rather LOUDLY), here are the Top 10 most popular requests that go beyond the same ol' boring "throw me something!"
1. Cups! If there’s one thing South Louisiana is known for, it’s go-cups. Mardi Gras cups are more than just a bit of molded plastic. They symbolize a special local freedom, and no Louisiana kitchen is complete without a stack of multi-colored, faded-from-washing stack of go-cups. Awesome to serve beverages for any pool party, or Blue Bell.
2. Anything handmade! Whether it’s a Muses shoe, a shrimp boot from the Krewe of Carrollton or a handmade knicknack from Spanishtown, anything that’s made with Mardi Gras TLC is a winner.
3. Tote Bags! They may or may not be purposeful throws, per se, because they typically get unceremoniously tossed over the edge of a float, but I’ve seen hands grab for Carnival tote bags as though they’re the hottest item on the route. (Some are made of canvas) They’re helpful for carrying your loot — and beach towel this summer.
4. Footballs! Float stalled? Got to the route too early? Waiting on Endmyion to start? No problem, if you caught a football (or a frisbee, for that matter) during an earlier parade. What parade route would be complete without having to dodge a solid game of toss in the middle of the street? However, accuracy is important. You should avoid hitting the large, grumpy guy in the head standing nearby.
5. Moon Pies! Moon Pies are delicious, and not catching one at Mardi Gras is kind of like forgetting the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. That the Moon Pie company has a did not factor into my rankings.
6. Signature throws! Think toilet paper from Tucks, makeup bags or fuzzy socks from Spanish Town, or anything from Endymion or Bacchus that lights up. These usually bear the name of the krewe, and depending on the item, can also be super useful. You'll be reminded of your Mardi Gras madness all year long.
7. Potato chips! Who doesn’t love snacks? Especially when you’re on the parade route and lines for food trucks or nearby restaurants can be rather long. The only downside is that chips easily get smushed, and that’s not a good thing when you’re looking for a nice, salty crunch to go with your beverage of choice.
8. Stuffed anything! Bears, voodoo dolls, dogs, shoes, crowns, the “Boeuf Gras” — take your pick. Stuffed throws of any kind are fun, but they definitely take up some space in a bag of throws. Still, they at least have uses that extend past Mardi Gras, especially if you have a dog who likes to chew. They just love the stuffing out of those little things.
9. Doubloons! Even though they're very difficult to catch on the fly, and seem to have no inherent value, some of the authentic collector’s edition ones (and the King's Coins) can become quite valuable. That said, many people take these coins VERY seriously. If you don't believe me, just try to reach down, and pick up one that landed on the ground. Your might have a close encounter of the shoe kind. It's ON! (your hand).
10. Beads! They may be the backbone of Mardi Gras, but, until we come up with a more environmentally-friendly version, they’re also helping to drown Spanish Town (and obviously New Orleans). Just look at how many came out of the catch basins in the past couple months. These will just be thrown up in the attic, or thrown OUT next week. The one exception are the ones that are glass and properly strung. They’re pretty, they’ve generally got a nice weight to them, and you can actually wear them at other times of the year. Or NEXT Mardi Gras.
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