Long Beach Carnival Association Parade Rolls On Sunday

"I love today!" young Elizabeth Hany said.

She wasn't alone. That's the consensus many of the parade revelers in Long Beach shared.

"It's time to get out and have a good time, let the good times roll!" carnival association member Jeanne McWilliams said.

Most of the parade goers were after beads. Beads have always been associated with Mardi Gras, but how did that tradition start, and what do the beads actually mean?

"I don't know why we throw beads," Mardi Gras queen Tracy Lost said.

"To hit people," Toot, a clown marching in the parade, said. His partner Bubba agreed. "Yeah exactly what he said. We try to hit everybody we can."

According to legend, beads are thrown to symbolize a queen who took off her pearl necklace and tossed it into the crowd. Legend aside, it make the parade all the more fun.

"Basically it's a time to forget about what's on people's minds right now, and to go out and have a fun with the family and children," carnival association member Leon Sootin said. "Eat, drink, and be merry!"

By Nathan Mihelich