Gemini’s Grand Ball set for Sat.

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Mardi Gras krewe also has community outreach program scheduled this month

Now in its 25th year, the Krewe of Gemini plans to not just throw beads, but memories this Mardi Gras season.

The Bossier City-based krewe will begin festivities this weekend with its Grande Ball XXV on Saturday at the Shreveport Convention Center. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with the Grand Tableau beginning at 8 p.m.

“We knew nothing about floats or parade throws or even what a grand ball was supposed to be (when we started),” Captain of Gemini XXV Russ Friedrich previously told the Press-Tribune. “We started small the very first year, but we’ve continued to grow and now we really know how to do it big.”

Attendees will be entertained with the house band The Boomers. The event is black tie for men and formal for the women. It is reserve seating, tickets are required purchase prior to the event.

Less than 50 tickets remain and they are $80 each. To purchase, email sue Willis at susanw@imperialmanagement.com.

But the Krewe of Gemini isn’t stopping there. They are also focused on helping the community.

The krewe will reach out by visiting area hospitals and various retirement facilities Feb. 26 starting at 9 a.m.

This is the 25th year that the Krewe has taken Mardi Gras to those who are unable to come to the parade.

Finally, before the Krewe of Gemini parade on March 1, the krewe will host the “Load the Floats” party Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. at their den located at 2101 East Texas St., Bossier City. The blessing of the floats will take place at 6 p.m.

“We encourage the public to come out and enjoy these events. We put so much into it and try to showcase the best of Mardi Gras,” King Gemini XXV Dr. Michael Banda previously told the Press-Tribune. “This is a unique thing we can share in the Ark-La-Tex without traveling south to New Orleans.”

The prelude to the largest free entertainment in the area, krewe members, royalty, special guests, and corporate sponsors will be loading their beads and trinkets on to their respective floats.

This event is open to the public and there is no admission to attend. The attire is Mardi Gras Fun and comfortable. Face painting will be enjoyed by all and a live band will be playing dance tunes.

This is an opportunity for the public to experience the floats and getting to know the Krewe members up close.

Also, the krewe wants to remind the public their route has not changed from last year. The parade will begin at 4:30 p.m. beginning on Clyde Fant Parkway at Sci-port.

Krewe of Gemini is now in their 25th year being a premier gathering not just during the month of February, but all year round. The Krewe traditionally provides the largest free show with its original Mardi Gras parade and festivities.

The Krewe of Gemini next meeting will be held at the Mardi Gras Museum on March 17, 2014 at 6:30 p.m., at 2101 East Texas Street, Bossier City, LA. This is the home of the oldest parading Krewe in northwest Louisiana.