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How to Catch the Best Mardi Gras Beads

Want to decorate your neck so that even Mr. T would be jealous? Head down Bourbon Street and catch the best Mardi Gras beads from riders and revelers.


  • TIP: The more creative the costume, the more beads you will get.
  • Step 1: Make sure you get to the parade early so you can get a good spot. It's time to have fun, catch some beads, and celebrate New Orleans style.
  • FACT: The Mardi Gras Zulu coconut, also known as the golden nugget, has been used in Mardi Gras parades since the 1910s.
  • Step 2: Stand out from the crowd by wearing a festive costume, mask, hat, crown, or boa. Jesters, Queens, and Kings are favorites.
  • Step 3: Increase your chances by bringing a footstool, ladder, or cooler to stand on -- be both seen and heard.
  • Step 4: Stash most of the beads you catch in a bag instead of putting them on. Let the riders think you have only a few beads.
  • Step 5: Try to get a single rider's attention. Then make eye contact, wave, jump, make noise, and give them a big smile.
  • Step 6: Plead with the riders. Affect your best foreign accent and tell them you came all the way to New Orleans from a foreign country to celebrate Mardi Gras.
  • Step 7: Catch the attention of riders and balcony revelers by making an eye-catching sign. Write funny one-liners, such as "You throw like a girl."

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