Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 21, 2019 / Eve Owen
Beginning two weeks before Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras Day there is at least one parade daily. It is during these parades that the beads or throws are primarily used. The New Orleans parades are organized by Krewes which are member sponsored communities. During the course of the parade the krewe members toss out a number of different types of throws such as beads doubloons cups and stuffed animals or small toys. Make sure you bring a large bag pillow case or any other sturdy container to bring your "catch" home in. Prior to the 1960 s the beads were made from glass; however they are currently being made from plastic.
It is usual that during the carnival aristocrats dress up as commoners men cross-dress as women and poor people dress up as princes and princesses - social roles and class differences are expected to be forgotten once a year but only for the duration of the festival. Rivertown s Mardi Gras Museum in New Orleans takes you through 100 years of Mardi Gras history showcasing floats memorabilia and pictures helping you understand all the history and culture of the festive holiday. There are lots of cheap hotels available both inside and out of the French Quarter so you can be as near or far from the parties as you like.
You can pack a picnic lunch play ball watch the parades and enjoy the festivities. Because Mardi Gras Day lasts the majority of the day wear sunscreen bring your lunch and make sure you have enough bags to bring home a large catch. Mardi Gras Day parades are the biggest and utilize the largest number of throws. Have loads of fun and catch a lot of Mardi Gras beads. Over the years I have developed certain classic New Orleans Carnival traditions of my own (as most people in this town do). I am what you call a "ball-goer." I try to attend as many of the large carnival balls as I can. In 2008 I consumed a mass quantity of energy drinks and few thousand diet cokes which provided me with the stamina to make an appearance at the big three: the Endymion Extravaganza the Bacchus Ball and the Orpheus Orpheuscapade.