Metairie, La – Bags of recycled beads– tons of beads– still sit on wooden pallets in the warehouse behind the ARC of Greater New Orleans store on Labarre Road.
In the last Carnival season, the store sold 180 tons of beads. All the big krewes buy them to throw in parades. But this year, with most parades cancelled, thousands of strands of beads, neatly sorted in mesh bags, are not moving anywhere. And ARC depends on bead sales to fund its programs for the developmentally disabled.
“We are calling 2021 a DIY Mardi Gras,” says Mardi Gras Recycle Center Manager Sherrana McGee-Stemley, “where the saying is, ‘Throw yourself something, Mister.’ “
McGhee-Stemley says the Recycle Center is offering bead “packages” to locals, who are decorating their own homes with beads this year, knowing that the krewes won’t be throwing any.
A “Jester Package,” for example, contains four different types of beads– four dozen of each type– and sells for $100.
Check out our story above, and ARC’s online store, here.
The Recycle Center Bead store is also open for in-person shopping.
It’s at 925 Labarre Road in Metairie, and it’s open Mon-Fri, 9am to 4pm, and Saturday, 9am to 1pm.