Beads Big Business

Kim Truong

When people think of Gasparilla, it’s mostly the partying and the parades that come to mind. However, the celebration also affects Tampa’s businesses. A lot of money is invested to make the parade a reality from the costumes to the beads.

“Sales skyrocket this time of year,” said Johnny Rodriguez, a manager at Party City. “This is one of our peak months.”

Thousands of beads are sold, according to another Party City manager, Ronnie Singleton. He also says that Gasparilla is by far one of the highest sales periods since there aren’t many events going on between New Year’s and the Super Bowl.

Aside from the beads though, things like make-up, costumes and ensembles are also big hits this season.

“We can’t hold on to the pirate stuff for long,” said Singleton.

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