It’s that time of year again.

It’s Carnival time, and the parades will begin this weekend in Houma, in Thibodaux and in many of the smaller communities throughout our region.

That means float riders are busily stockpiling their beads and other throws. They are selflessly spending and getting ready to do their best for the paradegoers along the routes.

It also means that people are gearing up to recycle this year’s throws just like they have for years.

The Terrebonne ARC and the Lafourche ARC give paradegoers a way to lighten their burdens before they leave the parades by sending a collection trailer on many of the local routes.

And those same organizations give krewe members places where they can buy beads that give them a good bargain and provide jobs for local folks.

If you are riding and still need to stock up on throws, check them out:

— Buy-U Beads at TARC, 1 McCord Road in Houma.

— Lafourche ARC at Grenier Industries, 2233 Saint Mary St., Thibodaux.

These are excellent efforts that return benefits for everyone involved.

“Our Buy-u-Beads program has been around for seven years now and creates 16 jobs for people with developmental disabilities,” said TARC Marketing Director Erica Pellegrin. “We see so many types of beads, from 30-inch to specialty types. The community also throws back footballs and stuffed animals. You name it, it goes into our crates. We’re always appreciating the support we get from the community. We’re asking people to throw back those beads. It’s great for environment because they go back into the community instead of in a landfill.”

The same goes for the group in Lafourche.

So, if you are at the parades this year and collect far too many beads and throws to conveniently get back home, don’t fret. Wait for the trailer at the end of the parade and throw back anything you think would add to next year’s selection.

Our local parades are some of the highlights of the year. They give us all a chance to gather with family members and friends — some of whom we might just see once or twice a year — and enjoy some of the best community celebrations anywhere.

And it’s all free for the spectators.

Krewe members spend lavishly on their throws, all for the enjoyment of the kids of all ages who go out to the parades.

Let’s hope for great weather, great times and great turnouts for all of them. And don’t forget to give back after the parades.


Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper, not of any individual.