Special thanks to Hoss Communications for its work on this film.
Beads of every size, shape and color are a quintessential part of Mardi Gras. Krewes gleefully throw them to parade-goers, who wear their colorful catches like badges of honor.
Rex and other early Mardi Gras revelers popularized the use of throws. By the late 1800s, krewes tossed handmade glass beads from Czechoslovakia. Plastic beads, manufactured in China, rose to popularity in the 1960s, when producing glass beads became costly.
Today’s modern beads are larger and more intricate, many featuring lights and medallions. With 5 million beads thrown each year, you’re bound to catch a pair (or armful!) worth saving.