YOUNGSVILLE — Mardi Gras season kicks off Wednesday. However, many parades and balls have been canceled this year because of the pandemic. It's putting businesses that depend on purple, green, and gold in the red.
At Bead Busters & Float Rentals in Youngsville, owner Craig Spadoni is known as the bead king.
His store is decked out in festive Mardi Gras colors and items fit for celebrations, However, in his six years of business, he's never seen a year like this before.
"Went from 100 mph to zero, pretty much a dead stop," Spadoni said. "Revenue is pretty much dried up for the year. We're fortunate the inventory is not going anywhere. It won't spoil. It'll be here next year."
However, his doors remain open. Some customers are buying decorations for their home and for small gatherings. "Still going to be here," Spadoni said. "We're not going anywhere. It is, what it is."
To help keep the spirit of Mardi Gras alive during the pandemic, he's created a little scavenger hunt for the public.
Placing bobble heads of the Bead King himself and hiding them throughout businesses in the city . He says it's a way to have some fun during Carnival Season while also helping local businesses.
"We're not going to have parades this year, but we can still have fun," Spadoni said. "Support your local business. Buy a king cake from a bakery, things like that. This year is going to be different."
Spadoni is hopeful the good times will roll again.
"We're preparing for 2022 because it's going to be huge and we'll make up for it in the long run," Spadoni said.