Celebrations in Shreveport-Bossier offer quirky, diverse and kid-friendly options for Carnival season
Mardi Gras season is officially underway throughout Louisiana, and Shreveport-Bossier’s Mardi Gras krewes are gearing up to present a busy schedule of parades, parties, masked balls and more. Shreveport-Bossier offers a diverse variety of Carnival season experiences ranging from huge parades hosted by North Louisiana’s largest krewes to quirky, kid-friendly neighborhood parades.
One of Shreveport-Bossier’s most unique Mardi Gras parades is also one of the earliest parades on Louisiana’s Carnival calendar: the Krewe of Harambee Martin Luther King Jr. Day Mardi Gras Parade will be held in downtown Shreveport at 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 18. This family-friendly parade celebrates the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. with floats, marching bands, performing arts groups and more.
Shreveport-Bossier’s first major parade weekend of 2016 will kick-off with the enormous Krewe of Centaur Parade beginning in downtown Shreveport and proceeding along the Clyde Fant Parkway parade route at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30. The Krewe of Centaur is one of the largest parading krewes in Louisiana and their massive parade is attended by more than 150,000 parade-goers each year. Animals and animal lovers have their own annual parade in Shreveport-Bossier, the Krewe of Barkus and Meoux Pet Parade. The pet parade, which regularly attracts more than 500 costumed pets as well as a huge crowd of onlookers, will take place, 12-3 p.m., on Sunday, Jan. 31 at 2000 Reeves Marine Drive in Bossier City.
Shreveport-Bossier’s second major parade weekend of 2016 will begin with the Krewe of Gemini Parade on Saturday, Feb. 6. The Krewe of Gemini Parade will begin on Clyde Fant Parkway in downtown Shreveport at 4 p.m. and will proceed down the Clyde Fant Parkway parade route. The Krewe of Gemini Parade is also regarded as one of the largest Mardi Gras parades in North Louisiana and is the oldest parade in Shreveport-Bossier’s modern era of parading krewes.
The final major parade of the season, the Krewe of Highland Parade, will begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, February 7 at Gilbert Drive and Gregg Avenue in the Highland neighborhood and will encircle the Highland neighborhood via Creswell Avenue, Centenary Boulevard and Olive Street. The Krewe of Highland parade is known for its quirky traditions and unique “throws,” including floats that throw grilled hot dogs, ramen noodles and more.
Carnival season celebrations aren’t limited to parades. Masked balls, live music and festive culinary events are also common occurrences. The Gris Gris Guide to Mardi Gras in Shreveport-Bossier, an annual publication of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau, compiles complete details of Carnival season celebrations in Shreveport-Bossier in a handy brochure that can be downloaded or viewed online at www.shreveport-bossier.org/mardigras. A full calendar of Mardi Gras parades, parties and more can also be viewed at www.SBFunGuide.com.
For more information on planning a visit to Shreveport-Bossier, contact the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau at 1-800-551-8682 or visit www.shreveport-bossier.org.
Shreveport-Bossier Parade Dates for 2016:
Krewe of Centaur: Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016
Krewe of Barkus and Meoux: Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016
Krewe of Gemini: Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016
Krewe of Highland: Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016