@SteampunkBanana Mardi Gras is pure magic - it is ridiculous and makes no sense, but these rich people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to dress up and get drunk and throw beads and cups at the hoi poloi. And then when you are running after the floats chasing them for that last dubloon, yelling Throw Me Sumpkin' Mista! you feel like the most special person ever when they toss you a weird bra with a comedy face on one tit and a tragedy face on the other with the labels "Sweet" and "Sour" underneath. Ah! Treasure!
You can use the cheap beads to throw at the tuba players (until they got smart and put covers on them) or toss into a bead tree or dress up a chandelier. The fancy ones, the "pearls" are of course for wearing and having others admire your Mardi Gras prowess.