where to donate Gasparilla Beads

RECYCLE Your Gasparilla Beads and Get Admission Discounts at Florida Aquarium!

If you and the kids have big plans to snag a TON of beads during the Children’s Gasparilla parade, we’ve got a deal to share with you!!

While the challenge to collect the beads is half the fun on parade day, figuring out what to do with them once you’re home can be even more challenging which is why the Florida Aquarium is extending an offer you won’t want to refuse!

In exchange for your beads, they’ll offer you a discount on admission as part of the City of Tampa’s Bead Free Bay initiative. Bring in a five-gallon bucket or more of beads and you’ll receive a half-price ticket for each bucket. This deal is good January 20-February 11, 2024 during Aquarium hours.

There is good reason behind the campaign to collect your beads. It’s estimated that 5 million + strands of beads are thrown into the air each parade season in Tampa! That’s 112 TONS of beads, y’all,

Related: Fun crafts that put those Gasparilla beads to work!

Unfortunately, some of that ends up in our waterways which is no good for wildlife. As much as 3-4 tons of beads are collected as garbage.

The Florida Aquarium will take your donated beads and give them to the MacDonald Training Center, who will clean and repackage for resale for future use. Funds raised support the Center’s mission of transforming the lives of people with disabilities through vocational training, employment pathways, residential supports and life enrichment opportunities.

Your an also recycle your Gasparilla beads at these community centers in Tampa:

Copeland Park Community Center
11001 N 15th St

Kate Jackson Community Center
821 S Rome Ave

Loretta Ingraham Recreation Complex
1611 N Hubert Ave

MacDonald Training Center
5420 W Cypress St

Related: What You Need to Know: The Children’s Gasparilla Parade