Mardi Gras Throws:
One thing all Mardi Gras parades have in common are that the riders throw things to the crowd. Of course, the main items are the Mardi Gras beads. But they also throw plastic cups and doubloons (coins) with the date and the krewe's theme for the year. Some of the parades have throws that are unique to the krewe. For instance, the riders of krewe of Zulu make hand painted and beautifully decorated coconuts. Although city law makes it illegal to throw these, the riders are allowed to hand one to you. A Zulu coconut is probably the highest prized throw in Mardi Gras and if you're lucky enough to get one you get bragging rights.
Float riders carry special throws, like stuffed animals, for the small children along this part of the parade route. Because this area is traditionally a family area the mood is friendly and G-rated.
Lesson Number Four: there's a lot more to Mardi Gras than Bourbon Street.