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We all love Mardi Gras, and now could you not?  The Bals, the parades, and those wonderful throws!  The crescendo of frivolity ramps up intensity right up till the end on March the 1st, and that's when we deal with the dark side of our yearly celebrations.  I'm not talking about hang overs, I'm talking about the beads.

Any self-respecting town in Louisiana will most likely be dealing with several streets piled high with uncaught beads - and that's if they don't end up clogging the sewer.  Back in 2018, 46 tons beads caused a lot of headaches when they ended up choking the sewer system in New Orleans.  In fact, if you drive down the Highland parade route - you'll see tree after tree just dripping with beads that never made into the hands of the revelers lining the street.

According to Houma Today, 2 Louisiana non-profits are tackling this problem and another with style.  TARC’s Buy-U Beads and LARC's Geaux Beads are recycling Mardi Gras by the thousands and creating awesome jobs for some of the mentally or physically handicapped people that live in the area and participate in the agencies' programs.  The concept is simple: These groups take tons of donated beads, clean them until they are shining like brand new, then sell them to Mardi Gras Krewes for the next round of parades!

The last mention I could find of a similar program was back in 2010 that was run by the Krewe of Aesclepius.   That being said, we absolutely need a program like this in the Shreveport-Bossier area.  We've got lots of excess beads, folks who would love to work, and we'll certainly need those beads year after year!

If you know of an organization who is taking donated beads and doing something wonderful with them, let me know in the comments and we will definitely update this story!

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