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Crown Royal Turns Mardi Gras Trash into Treats and Treasure

NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Each year, New Orleans generously plays host to more than a million revelers who descend upon the city to experience the spectacle of Mardi Gras – often described as "the biggest free party on earth." What many don't see amidst the parties and parades is the extraordinary effort of the city's residents to clean up after the celebrations, clearing from the streets up 100,000-200,000 pounds of trash each night, to maintain the beauty of one of America's most beloved cities by sunrise each day. And much of that trash is comprised of plastic beads, tossed from floats and balconies, which end up on the streets.

This year, Crown Royal, Louisiana's top-selling whisky brand, is helping to lighten the load and assist in the cleanup effort by encouraging consumers 21+ to visit its pop-up party space in front of Harrah's (at the corner of Canal and South Peters) and donate their beads otherwise destined for landfill. Those who part ways with their beads will be rewarded with a royal treat – a King Cake from legendary New Orleans bakery, Gambino's.

Beads will be collected in partnership with Arc of Greater New Orleans, a nonprofit organization serving people with intellectual disabilities and delays. Arc operates a year-round Mardi Gras Recycling Center, where used beads are sorted, repackaged and resold for about a dollar per pound, raising money and creating job opportunities for those in need. "We hope to recycle more than 175,000 pounds of beads this year and we're thankful for Crown Royal's generosity in helping us to get there," said Arc Recycling Coordinator Margie Perez.

A portion of the beads will be also repurposed by visual artist Stephan Wanger, who creates dazzling mosaics using recycled Mardi Gras beads. He will invite attendees at Crown Royal's pop-up party to join him in completing his current project, a massive 8' by 96' mural titled "Life in the French Quarter," an attempt to break his own Guinness World Record for the world's largest mosaic.

"We're proud to help give folks a simple way to pay back the generosity the city of New Orleans has shown to us – and to the millions who have experienced Mardi Gras through the years," said Jim Ruane, Crown Royal Brand Director. "We want to show them how easy, fun and rewarding it can be to live generously." 

The activation is part of Crown Royal's new campaign, "Live Generously and Life Will Treat You Royally," a mission to inspire a magnanimous approach to life and encourage generosity in all of its many forms. And New Orleans, a city renowned for its hospitality, diversity and generous spirit, provides the perfect backdrop – in fact, much of the brand's advertising campaign was shot in the city, highlighting real New Orleans residents who exemplify a generous spirit. 

Parade-goers can visit the pop-up party space during the following times to donate beads, collect their King Cakes, purchase Crown Royal cocktails crafted by local bartenders, enjoy live entertainment and hydrate: Thursday, February 23rd and Friday, February 24th from 4-8 p.m. and Saturday, February 25th and Sunday, February 26th from 2-8 p.m.

And whether you're in New Orleans or celebrating Mardi Gras in your hometown, Crown Royal encourages you to enjoy responsibly and drink plenty of water.

Crown Royal Signature Mardi Gras Cocktails

Napoleon's Last Stand

  • 1 oz. Crown Royal Deluxe
  • 3/4 oz. Pimm's
  • 3/4 oz. Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 oz. Simple Syrup
  • Ginger Ale

Place all ingredients (except ginger ale) in a shaker tin. Add ice and shake. Strain over fresh ice in Collins glass. Top off with ginger ale and garnish with slice of cucumber.

Café Royal

  • 1 1/4 oz. Crown Royal Vanilla
  • 1/4 oz. Orange Liqueur
  • 4 oz. Hot Coffee
  • 2 dashes Aromatic Bitters

Pour all ingredients in preheated coffee mug and stir. Garnish with cinnamon stick and whipped cream.

Carnival Queen

  • 1 1/4 oz. Crown Royal Regal Apple
  • 1/4 oz. Dark Berry Liquor
  • 1/4 oz. Lemon Juice
  • Champagne or Sparkling Wine

Place all ingredients in a shaker tin. Add ice and shake. Strain into champagne flute and top off with sparkling wine. Garnish with lemon twist.

About Crown Royal
Crown Royal Canadian Whisky is the number-one selling Canadian whisky brand in the U.S. and has a tradition as long and distinctive as its taste. Specially blended to commemorate a grand tour of Canada made by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain in 1939, Crown Royal's smooth, elegant flavor and gift-worthy presentation reflect its regal origins – it is considered the epitome of Canadian whisky. For more information visit Crown Royal encourages all consumers to please enjoy responsibly.

About Diageo
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan's whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at Visit Diageo's global responsible drinking resource,, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.

Follow us on Twitter for news and information about Diageo North America: @Diageo_NA.

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.

About Arc
Arc of Greater New Orleans is a 63-year-old non-profit organization serving people with intellectual disabilities, such as Down syndrome and autism. Arc is committed to securing for all people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to develop, function and live to their fullest potential. Arc serves some 900 children, adults and their families in Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard and St. Tammany parishes by providing various services including Family Service Coordination, Respite, Personal Care, Supported Employment, Day Habilitation and Supported Living assistance.


Kelly Greenawalt

Jamie Hakim                                     

Taylor, 704-644-6915

Diageo, 646-223-2314


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