If you braved those cold temperatures at the parade yesterday, starting tomorrow (January 31st), you are encouraged to bring in those beads you caught at Gasparilla. The City of Tampa will have them cleaned thoroughly so they can be reused instead of just tossed in the garbage. Clean and sanitized beads are packaged and sold back to parade crews for other events to fund career and education programs.

The hope is that not only will Gasparilla attendees not just toss the beads away. The city wants to keep them out of the water too. They say wildlife are threatened because beads can be mistaken for food.

There are 4 locations in Tampa where you can drop them off:

Copeland Park Community Center
1101 North 15th Street

Kate Jackson Community Center
821 South Rome Avenue

Loretta Ingraham Recreation Complex
1611 North Hubert Avenue

MacDonald Training Center
5240 West Cypress Street

My first Gasparilla

I made the rookie mistake in 2013. I was sober. But at least my pics didn’t come out blurry.

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