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ALBANY, N.Y. — Audra Leberman walked into The Pearl Restaurant and Lounge wanting potential suitors to know that she has a boyfriend. But wearing a sticker or T-shirt reading, ‘‘I’m attached’’ is just tacky, and she didn’t want to have to say, ‘‘Sorry, not interested’’ over and over. So instead, Leberman put on a glowing red necklace.

Many other patrons in the Albany club that night were wearing similar necklaces as part of a quirky new trend called the ‘‘stoplight party.’’

Participants at these social events select necklaces with traffic signal colors. Red means stop, of course, for whatever reason; green invites attention; and yellow advises approach with caution. If the partygoer’s mood changes at any point, spare necklaces are available to trade.

‘‘Everyone’s been there,’’ says Bill Kennedy, promotions director at Nick’s Sneaky Pete’s, an Albany nightspot that sponsors the occasional stoplight party. ‘‘You’ve been out at the club, you buy someone a drink because you’re interested. After 10, 15 minutes of talking to them … they tell you they’re either married or in a relationship.’’

‘‘The stoplight party takes the guesswork out of the night,’’ said radio disc jockey D Scott. ‘‘You can tell the availability of a person just by looking at the color that they are wearing.’’ Scott was the host at the most recent stoplight party Sept. 15 at Nick’s Sneaky Pete’s.

Most party attendees go for the same reason they hit any club: the prospect of meeting new people or the possibility of romance, whether just for the night or for forever. But, organizers say, a stoplight party wouldn’t be a stoplight party without a couple of red necklaces.

‘‘Those are the people who are at the club to have a good time, dance and hang out with their friends,’’ says Scott, ‘‘and not have to worry about someone coming up to them and simply trying to hook up for the night.’’

Leberman donned her red necklace with pride. ‘‘I wore it because I’m a good girlfriend,’’ she said.

Since other partygoers knew from her necklace that Leberman was involved, she didn’t have to rebuff as many unwanted advances. The 24-year-old avoided situations in which she would feel uncomfortable and enjoyed her night out with her girlfriends.

Kennedy, of Sneaky Pete’s, says that about 90 percent of the club goers at a stoplight party sport glowing green. The rest of the guests are split between red and yellow.

Yellow necklaces, like their traffic light counterparts, encourage a variety of interpretations. Larissa Diaz, 18, said when she wore her yellow necklace to Sneaky Pete’s it meant, ‘‘Let me approach you.’’

When Diaz attended her most recent stoplight party, she was dating someone casually. He was also at the party, and after he put on both red and green necklaces, Diaz retaliated by wearing all three colors. The apparently mixed message resulted in many people stopping to talk to her out of curiosity.

‘‘Guys didn’t seem as shy that night,’’ she said.

The stoplight party has spilled over from clubs to private gatherings. DTraecelle Carter, a senior at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., recently threw a stoplight party at his townhouse. More than 60 students attended, wearing not necklaces but appropriately colored clothing, and Carter said it was one of the most successful parties he and his housemates have thrown.Although the parties have cropped up locally as well as nationwide, the events still are not widely known. And they haven’t won over everyone.

Matthew Wright, a 21-year-old student at State University of New York’s Albany campus, said he would miss the normal bar chat-n-flirt.

‘‘I like the element of surprise,’’ he said.

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