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Turn in Gasparilla beads for Florida Aquarium discount

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Gasparilla fun is just getting started, however, once it’s all over, you’ll probably wonder what you can do with the hundreds of beads you’ve caught during the parades and Gasparilla events.

Thousands of pounds of beads will litter the streets of Tampa on Saturday and they can’t be recycled. What a waste.

In order to help collect unwanted beads and to prevent them from finding their way into bay area waters, The Florida Aquarium has started a discount offer to help encourage an eco-friendly Gasparilla.

Through Jan. 31, residents can bring 10 pounds of beads to the aquarium to receive a $10 discount off admission. Twenty pounds of beads will earn you a $20 discount. Those who bring in 30 pounds or more will get free admission. This is the second year The Florida Aquarium has collected beads from its guests.

The beads given will be donated to the MacDonald Training Center, who will then sort the beads and resell them for next year’s Gasparilla.

However, if you are unable to make it down to The Florida Aquarium, the city is also willing to take your beads.

Starting Jan. 22, you can drop off Gasparilla beads to the following collections sites:

  • Copeland Park Community Center – 11001 N. 15th Street
  • Kate Jackson Community Center – 821 S. Rome Ave.
  • Loretta Ingraham Recreation Complex – 1611 N. Hubert Ave.
  • MacDonald Training Center (Weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) – 5420 W. Cypress St.
  • Port Tampa Community Center – 4702 W. McCoy Street

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