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Best Mardi Gras Throws

Nyx parade
Parade go-ers vie for a purse at the all-female krewe parade, Nyx. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

There’s an indiscriminate, irrepressible urge that comes over a person during a Mardi Gras parade. This condition is referred to as bead lust. Anyone can suffer from it. It could be the lady in the grocery store checkout line, your neighbor, even you. With all the new flashy gadgets, Carnival souvenirs and custom beads better known as Mardi Gras throws, bead lust can get pretty serious. If you’ve never caught the fever before, these top specialty throws of Mardi Gras just might make you.

1. ZULU Coconut

Perhaps the most coveted of all Mardi Gras throws, the ZULU Coconut is more than a golden, decorative tropical keepsake. It’s a symbol of the sacred Mardi Gras institution of the ZULU Warriors and of the glory that comes with being one of the chosen ones. Because somewhere down the line, someone probably was given a concussion from this Mardi Gras treasure, the coconuts are now distributed by krewe members passing them out hand-to-hand to parade go-ers instead of throwing them into the crowd. It’s probably for the better.

2. Muses Shoe

Like the ZULU Coconut, a Muses Shoe is a sign of triumph, a bragging right and definitely a mantel piece. The shoes given out by the lovely ladies of Muses, or the daughters of Zeus incarnate, are limited in quantity. Maintain eye contact and enthusiasm and turn on the charm and you could be one of the lucky recipients of the Muses Shoe this year. Some creative strategies that could work to your advantage are making hand-crafted signs and dressing in Muses-friendly attire. Read: girly and glittery chic.

3. Nyx Purse

Now the largest krewe in all of Mardi Gras, with members topping 3,400, the Krewe of Nyx is nothing short of spectacular. The all-female krewe’s signature throw is their glittered purse. Meticulously crafted down to every last sequins, the purse serves as a beautiful canvas for an intricate creation. You’ll see New Orleans-themed purses, satirical designs, and down-right works of art. Best of all, the purse makes for a unique and functional accessory post-Mardi Gras – what other throws can you sport once the season is over?

4. Krewe d’Etat Flashing Skeleton

Le Krewe d’Etat is the preeminent distributor of unprecedented high tech Mardi Gras throws, leading the pack with the flashing skeleton bead. Since the inception of the formidable glow-in-the-dark skull with flashing green eyes, other krewes have followed suit, throwing out flashing neon miniature replicas of their own. Look for this special throw when you’re at Krewe d’Etat, one of our favorite satirical Mardi Gras parades.

5. Doubloons

Don’t discount those shiny gold, silver or multi-colored coins tossed out into the crowd as an insignificant Carnival throw. Mardi Gras doubloons are collector’s items; some are even valuable and have a long and rich history. Doubloons made their Mardi Gras debut in the Rex parade in 1960, so a Rex doubloon is among, if not the most, sought after, including the Bacchus doubloon.

6. Cups

While Mardi Gras cups may not be as esteemed or glamorous as the other contenders on this list, they continue to be a favorite parade throw. Not only are they personalized with the krewe’s logo or the particular parade theme, they are functional as well as sentimental mementos. Word to the wise: Mardi Gras cups are convenient as real-time parade route beverage containers.

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