A local company and festival organizers teamed up to make sure the city isn’t completely trashed after those Mardi Gras floats roll through. “You collect so many beads, you don’t need to keep them all. What are you going to do with all of these beads? So they bring these trucks out here and people throw the beads in the back of the truck,” said Chris Foreman, Le Festival De Mardi Gras Entertainment Coordinator.
He said this was the idea of Service Chevrolet, a sponsor of the festival. They donate the beads to a local non-profit organization. “The beads can be broken or not broken. If they’re broken they can be repaired. They can be refurbished and resold,” said Foreman. This began a couple of years ago and gives parade goers another way to dispose of any unwanted beads. “What are you going to do when you bring beads home? All you ever do is throw them away so it’s like you have a place to put them,” said Matthew Foreman, Festival Attendee.
It also helps with clean-up after the parades. “We always have to take tops of the drains off and dig down there and get some of the drains. Otherwise, it drains through the system and into the bayous,” said Foreman. Another attendee agreed. “I noticed that it catches on a lot of people’s tires and it throws it around. That could be hazardous so I think it’s great that people are throwing the beads in the back of these trucks and it’s making the roads safer, it’s making everything cleaner and it’s just helping out,” said C.J. Clement, Festival Attendee.
There’s even a trailer at the end of some of the parade routes. “They ask people to throw whatever beads they don’t want into these trailers and people are doing it.” He said throwing the beads into the trailer has now become a fun competition.