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Mardi Gras party beads have become synonymous with Carnival time in the great city of New Orleans. However contrary to the normal economic theories of supply and demand, these beads have become hugely popular during Mardi Gras and extremely highly sought-after. This is despite the fact that they are cheap, available in huge numbers, and are generally discarded very quickly after catching them. Regardless, the very act of catching a set of Mardi Gras beads does become a source of great competitiveness and even aggression during the nightly parades. It is amazing that such a cheap and populous commodity can cause so much consternation during Mardi Gras. The more extravagant the beads, the greater the demand is for these party throws from the parade floats. However even the cheap and plain beads always seem to find a home and a willing recipient.
This particular image shows a set of a more plain variety of Mardi Gras party beads, hanging from a tree on St. Charles Avenue on a busy Sunday afternoon in New Orleans. What the out-of-towners may not realize is that right after Mardi Gras most of these beats will be thrown away. However, a good number will be left Hanging from trees, street signs, and even on streetcar overhead power lines along St. Charles Avenue. Some mat even stay there all year round, eventually having the color washed through the various summer thunderstorms.
October 5th, 2012
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