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Mardi Gras season events announced

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Carnival season is quickly approaching in Louisiana, and Shreveport-Bossier’s Mardi Gras krewes are gearing up to present a busy schedule of parades, float-loading parties, extravagant bals and more.

The fun begins with the traditional 12th Night Party, 6:30 p.m.-12 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 3 at the Bossier Civic Center, and continues until Carnival season is officially brought to a close on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 17, during the annual Texas Street Bridge Closing Ceremony held at midnighton the Texas Street Bridge in downtown Shreveport.

The Gris Gris Guide to Mardi Gras 
Parades are just the beginning when it comes to Carnival season fun. To help visitors enjoy local Carnival season food, off-the-beaten-path parties and more, the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau publishes an annual brochure called The Gris Gris Guide to Mardi Gras in Shreveport-Bossier. The 2015 edition of the guide is now available as a free download at www.shreveport-bossier.org/mardigras. The full-color, pocket-sized guidebook can also be picked up at the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau’s downtown visitor center at 629 Spring Street in downtown Shreveport.

Major Mardi Gras Parade Dates for 2015
The two largest Mardi Gras parades set to take place in Shreveport-Bossier are the Krewe of Centaur Parade XXIV, 4:30 p.m., Sat., Feb. 7, and the Krewe of Gemini Parade XXVI, 4:30 p.m., Sat., Feb. 14. Both parades begin at the intersection of Clyde Fant Parkway and Lake Street in downtown Shreveport and proceed south to Shreveport-Barksdale Highway and East Kings Highway. Both parades include an alcohol-free family zone located in the area surrounding Veteran’s Memorial Park on Clyde Fant Parkway. These two enormous, colorful parades include dozens of floats, marching bands, performing artists and more.

Daylight Parades
The Krewe of Harambee Martin Luther King Jr. Day Mardi Gras Parade, scheduled for 1 p.m., Mon., Jan. 19, is an enormous parade honoring the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. This distinctly musical parade attracts top marching bands from throughout the region and rolls through downtown Shreveport via Milam Street and Texas Street. The Krewe of Highland Parade XX, one of the largest neighborhood parades in Louisiana, will roll through Shreveport’s historic Highland neighborhood at 2 p.m. on Sun., Feb. 15. The Krewe of Highland is a funky, eclectic celebration known for unique “throws” including grilled hot dogs, Moon Pies, hand-made art items and more. The Krewe of Highland begins and ends at the intersection of Gilbert Drive and Gregg Street, traveling a circuitous route via Creswell Avenue, Olive Street and Centenary Boulevard.

For more information on Mardi Gras celebrations in Shreveport-Bossier, visit www.shreveport-bossier.org/mardigras.