BEADS:  Here is how you get beads for Gasparilla if you missed the YMKN group bead order

Maybe you are new to the Krewe or you just missed the group order we placed in the summer…how do you get beads for parade season? This article tells you how you can get beads, as well as what options you have when you buy them.


Start by asking your sponsor if they have any beads or know anyone that does. Many members have stockpiled beads and are happy to share them with you or sell them to you.  Come to a Board meeting and ask around, and you will be surprised how many guys have extra beads.

If you cannot get beads from other members, you will have to purchase them from a vendor.  Locally, the two best places are in Tampa:

  1. Buccaneer Beads at 3808 E. MLK, Jr. Blvd., Tampa — Phone: 813-664-8571
  2. Tell them you are in the Krewe of Neptune and you get a 10% discount
  • South Tampa Trading Company at 1916 S Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa — Phone 813-831-7882

You can also buy beads online.  There are many vendors but be careful about buying very cheap beads because the color will rub off all over your hands and clothes. Your best online options are:

  1. Beads by the Dozen
  • Amazon —  but again, beware of shopping for the cheapest beads, because they are often twisted, they break, the color will rub off, etc.


To the spectators, smaller beads are not desirable, but you have to consider where you will be when you are throwing beads. If you plan to be on the top floor of the float, you want to buy smaller beads, either 10 millimeter or 12 millimeter in diameter. Throwing larger diameter beads from the top of the float can actually injure someone, particularly if they are very long. If you will be tossing them while walking down the road, the larger beads are very popular and are preferred.  You will get much better reaction from the crowd if you are throwing 14 millimeter, or even better 18 millimeter or above.

The most popular colors include Pearl and Gold, though Green is very popular (and you want those for St. Patrick’s Day).  You can get as creative as you wish.

PLAN FOR NEXT YEAR:  YMKN typically places a group bead order in the summer each year.  Members order by the case.  Quantities depend on the size beads you order.  We pre-pay through the Krewe Store on the website, and the beads are shipped in bulk to the Cove, typically around November or December.  We then have bead pickup days where members come and claim their beads.