Mardi Gras throws and don’ts

February 9, 2015 8:45 AM

Sarah Netter

Mardi Gras

When catching throws, keep your hands in the air and watch out for those elbows. 

“You can never have enough cups.”

Evan Wagner, Tulane University student

A parade route during Carnival can be a daunting place. A fun, crazy, time-of-your-life place, but daunting nonetheless, for Mardi Gras veterans and newcomers alike. 

Look out for little old ladies who will put a glittered stiletto spike through your hand if you try to pick up a doubloon, and parents who will throw an elbow to keep their child’s face free and clear of flying beads.

It’s awesome — all of it. But there are some tips and tricks to coming away with the best throws and keeping your hands, and your Mardi Gras pride, intact. 

“You don’t pick beads off the ground,” said Evan Wagner, a third-year architecture student at Tulane University. “It’s poor form.”

It’s a sentiment resoundingly echoed throughout New Orleans — catch the beads in the air or leave them where they lay. Only amateurs pick them up, unless of course, they are some crazy beads. Then all bets are off.

Keep an eye out for throws that are unique to the krewe. Cups are always fan favorites — they fly off floats in large quantities, they’re easy to catch and they typically have the krewe’s name on them.  

“You can never have enough cups,” Wagner said. “I collect them. Passionately.”

Candise Guedry, program manager for the Tulane School of Science and Engineering, knows her Mardi Gras throws. She was a Carnival baby, born in an uptown hospital on Fat Tuesday just as Rex started rolling.

“The very best throws are the signature and customized throws from the king and/or queen and their court’s floats,” Guedry said. “But of course, the most coveted throw is the mighty doubloon from most [krewes], the shoes from Muses and last, but always the best, are the coconuts from Zulu.

Just remember your parade etiquette as you scramble for the must-have throws.

“Don’t stomp on anyone’s hand when it’s on the ground covering a doubloon,” Guedry said. “Do share your throws with any little kids that are around and not catching anything.”

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu