We know they are plastic, we know they don't actually cost that much, but their value to Mardi Gras is immeasurable. I am speaking of the "throws" that fly from float to reveler during the passing of every Mardi Gras parade.

When did we start throwing beads? What about doubloons? Who is responsible for Mardi Gras parades being interactive with all of this loot taking flight over the barricades?

According to this very snappy video put together by the folks at NOLA.com the first throws crossed the barricades in January of 1871 in New Orleans. Take that Mobile,  you were late to the party again. 

From there trinkets grew into strands of beads in 1921. Then came the doubloons and the cups, hats, coconuts, teddy bears, and the occasional brassiere soon followed. The rest is Mardi Gras history and legend.

My personal favorite throw to toss and to catch is the plastic cup. I like the way you can spiral them into the breeze like Drew Brees and get some great distance into the depth of the crowd. I also like to catch cups because there is always a need for a cup on Mardi Gras day. Whether it's liquid going in or coming out a nice plastic cup is a handy piece of parade paraphernalia.