Bossier-Shreveport is preparing for a huge Mardi Gras season in 2017 featuring masked balls, massive parades and quirky neighborhood celebrations.

Shreveport-Bossier is home to nearly a dozen parades that range in size from neighborhood festivities like the Krewe of Sobek Parade (1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 14) and Krewe of Harambee Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade (1 p.m., Monday, Jan. 16) to huge parades that draw hundreds of thousands of attendees, such as the Krewe of Centaur Parade (4:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 18) and the Krewe of Gemini Parade (4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 25). The season will officially begin with a Twelfth Night Party and Mardi Gras Mass on Saturday, Jan. 7 and will continue through Fat Tuesday on Feb. 28.   

Shreveport-Bossier’s Mardi Gras season is uncommonly diverse, accessible and family-friendly. Many parades take place during daylight hours, including the Krewe of Barkus and Meoux Pet Parade (12 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 19) and the Krewe of Highland Parade (1 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 26). Float-loading parties such as those hosted by the Krewe of Centaur and the Krewe of Gemini give visitors the rare opportunity to go “behind the scenes” and see giant floats being loaded with beads while mingling with krewe royalty and collecting limited edition throws. Extravagant masked balls hosted by the larger krewes are open to the public so that anyone who purchases a ticket can experience the pageantry and grandeur of Carnival season. 

Designed to provide a “one stop shop” for groups of 10 or more who are seeking an authentic Mardi Gras parade day experience, the annual Red River Mardi Gras Bash is an exclusive tent party for visiting groups that will be held on Saturday, Feb. 18 during one of Louisiana’s largest Mardi Gras parades – the Krewe of Centaur Parade. Admission includes access to a private tent with live music, Creole and Cajun food, special behind-the-scenes Mardi Gras experiences and more. Tickets are $40 each and may be purchased by contacting Erica Telsee at 800-551-8682.  

For a complete guide to Shreveport-Bossier’s Carnival season parades, parties and more, download The Gris Gris Guide to Mardi Gras in Shreveport-Bossier.