Going to New Orleans?
If your trip begins on a Friday, you’re in luck.
Since September, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport has been hosting “Throw me something, Fridays” and offering free Mardi Gras beads to arriving passengers.
250-300 pounds of beads are handed out on an average Friday and on the Friday before Mardi Gras airport staff handed out 1100 pounds of beads – along with stuffed animals, balsa wood airplanes, luggage tags and other “Welcome to New Orleans” treats.
Reed Barnes, the airport’s customer service manager, told me that the purple, green and gold beads are handed, not thrown, to travelers from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. each Friday and that “No one has to lift their shirts” in order to get some beads. “Although,” said Barnes, “a lot of guys offer.”
As airport amenities go, free Mardi Gras beads are a nice touch. Especially because the airport buys recycled beads that have been cleaned and bundled by employees from a local charitable organization.