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Mardi Gras Museum goes up on auction block

Mardi Gras season has begun, but memorabilia collectors and Fat Tuesday fans had to say farewell to the Mardi Gras Museum.  The museum will be auctioning its collection.

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Mardi Gras Museum auctions collection: Herbie LeBlanc, president of the Mardi Gras Memorabilia Society, stands inside the Mardi Gras Museum in Kenner, La., Feb. 9. Designed as a celebration of Mardi Gras when it opened in 1992, the museum has closed and its stock of memorabilia will go on the auction block.

The Times-Picayune/AP

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Designed as a celebration of Mardi Gras when it opened in 1992, a museum in the New Orleans suburb of Kenner has closed and its stock of memorabilia will go on the auction block.

The Mardi Gras Museum suffered from a drop in attendance, and its city-sponsor, like many communities around the country, has been forced to tighten its budget. Bidders will have the chance to acquire costumes, classic invitations to exclusive balls and other items associated with Louisiana's famous festival.

Auctioneer Bradley Mutz will handle the March 8 bidding and expects buyers generally will get the stuff at bargain prices. But the president of the Mardi Gras Memorabilia Society who appraised the holdings said some are rare or one-of-a-kind and will draw higher interest from Mardi Gras collectors.

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"The most striking to me, being a collector myself, were two Rex queen scrolls," Herbie LeBlanc said.

The scrolls are given to the queen of Rex, one of the signature parading groups of Mardi Gras. They announce the selection of make-believe monarchs, drawn from social circles, to "rule" over lavish balls and parades during the Carnival season.

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