With less than two months until Fat Tuesday and no parades in 2021, everyone is looking forward to carnival time! Hi-5 Toys and Candy in Houma is hustling to prepare for a busy carnival season, as parade krewes stock up their floats and get ready to roll. Operating out of only one location in Southland Mall post-Ida, Hi-5 is the hot local spot to shop for a variety of exclusive and unique throws including squish balls, fidget spinners, jump ropes, and pop-tubes. They truly have everything but the beads!
Owner James Cabirac said the store begins its search for next year’s throws immediately after carnival season wraps up, seeking items that will make a lasting impression on parade-goers. “Our throws are a little more unique, as far as what you see at parades as common throws,” said Cabirac. “I’ve noticed that when you walk along a parade route all you see is beads on the ground; people don’t pick up beads anymore. Then you’ll see the stuff we sell, kids are actually keeping it and playing with it; it’s stuff they actually want,” Cabirac explained.
Cabirac said the store’s highest-selling throws this season came as a surprise. “We’re selling a crazy amount of full-size basketballs and footballs. They seem to be our most popular sellers, along with anything that will light up,” he added.
Like many retail stores across the U.S, Hi-5 was affected by the cancellation of parades in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, Cabirac said that although the store has experienced shipping issues, they’ve maintained the cost of products in comparison to 2020.
“We were able to keep our prices pretty similar to what it was a couple of years ago, but shipping has been a little bit of an issue. We’re trying to keep our prices pretty close to what they were two years ago. But, when the price of petroleum is up, so is the price of shipping. We’re trying to keep the most common items at their average cost,” said Cabirac.
In addition to typical throws in purple, green and gold, Hi-5 also offers customers the option to order custom throws and decorations for their floats. “Mardi Gras isn’t strictly purple, green, and gold anymore, so if we have a customer who has a specific theme or colors for their floats, we make a special call to get items that make a good throw and fit their theme,” said Cabirac.
Cabirac shared the most unique service Hi-5 offers is their delivery and loading option, a convenient and time-saving service that allows customers to place their orders and have their products delivered to their floats. “One thing we do that’s unique, is we actually go to the float line up and we put their throws in the customer’s spot. So if a customer tells us they’re on float 16, spot A8, when they show up, their stuff is sitting there,” said Cabirac. “They don’t have to pick up their items from the store. They can come in and place an order and we’ll deliver it to their float and load it up for them,” he adds.
In addition to traditional and exclusive throws, Hi-5 has exclusive carnival-themed fashion apparel and accessories including purses, shirts, leggings, headbands, and bracelets ensuring that everyone is ready to let the good times roll!