Revelers stocking up on supplies ahead of parades

Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 11:09 PM CST
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METAIRIE (WVUE) - For float riders, the days leading up to parades feel like Black Friday with revelers rushing to the store to check off their favorite throws from their list.

“I got fleur-de-lis pursues. I got extra long beads. I made my own candy bags,” Susan Smith said. “Because that’s what I like when I’m on the parade route.”

Smith join a crowd of people who spent their Friday morning at Beads by the Dozen getting last minute throws. It was more special for Smith since this carnival season was the first time for her and her family in the Krewe of Elks.

“It’s 40 of us. 20 on each side (of the float),” she said.

For more veteran riders like Janise Sills, the carnival shopping strategy revolves around the people in the crowd that they like to throw to.

“I love to throw the nice beads to the elderly people. I like throwing nice stuffed animals to the babies,” Sills said.

Sills is excited to ride in this year’s Krewe of NOMTOC, especially since she is riding with her husband as his birthday gift. She along with other shoppers say they feel the carnival spirit in the air on their quest to find the perfect throws, costumes, and snacks for the season.

“It’s my third time coming and I may come some more times so I have what I need,” Smith said.

With all the excitement for the carnival season finally coming back to the area, people are more than willing to open up their wallets for their throws.

“Every time I ride on a float, I spend thousands of dollars,” Sills said.

Some hope that the return of the carnival season brings the same if not more economic impact.

“It’s like a culture that brings money back to the city, bring money back, and help a lot of people,” shopper Shandra Estes said.

And with that, people are happy to have one of their most cherished traditions back in action.

“People can have the joy of having another Mardi Gras,” Estes said.

Store owners say that if there is something specific you want for the carnival season, it’s best to head out and try to buy it early.

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