Shreveport-Bossier is home to some of Louisiana’s largest parading Mardi Gras organizations, known locally as “krewes”. These krewes will produce a busy calendar of parties, parades and other events for the 2018 Carnival season, which will officially begin on the holiday known as Twelfth Night, or Friday, Jan. 5, 2018.
The earliest major parade on Shreveport-Bossier’s calendar is the Krewe of Harambee Martin Luther King Jr. Day Mardi Gras Parade, which will be held in downtown Shreveport on Monday, Jan. 15. This unique parade combines a celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with the over-the-top energy of a Mardi Gras parade. The parade begins in the heart of downtown Shreveport at 1 p.m. and includes floats, marching bands, stilt walkers and more.
The major parade weekends in Shreveport-Bossier begin on Friday, Feb. 2 with the Krewe of Centaur Float-Loading Party. The float-loading party, an all-ages event where the public can get an up-close look at huge, colorful floats, mingle with krewe royalty and collect exclusive beads and throws, typically begins at 6 p.m. at the Krewe of Centaur Den located at 351 Aero Drive in Shreveport. Admission is free. On Saturday, Feb. 3, the fun continues with the Krewe of Centaur Parade. The parade begins, rain or shine, at 4:30 p.m. on Clyde Fant Parkway in downtown Shreveport. The massive parade proceeds along Shreveport’s parade route, which follows Clyde Fant Parkway south from downtown Shreveport, turns right onto Shreveport-Barksdale Highway and ends in the Broadmoor neighborhood at East Kings Highway Park. On Sunday, Feb. 4, the Krewe of Barkus and Meoux Pet Parade, a huge parade of costumed pets that has drawn crowds of more than 10,000 spectators, will be held at 2000 Reeves Marine Drive in Bossier City.
During the Krewe of Centaur Parade, the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau produces a huge tent party for visiting groups of 10 or more who are seeking a fun, easy parade day experience. The 12th annual Red River Mardi Gras Bash will feature an afternoon-long parade viewing party with live music, great Cajun and Creole cuisine, behind-the-scenes tours of the parade route and reserved, front-row seating when the parade begins. Tickets are $40 per person and may be purchased by contacting Erica Telsee, tourism sales manager, at 800-551-8682 ext. 104.
The Krewe of Gemini, the oldest modern parading krewe in Shreveport-Bossier, will host the Krewe of Gemini Float-Loading Party at the Mardi Gras Museum located at 2101 East Texas Street in Bossier City beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9. The massive Krewe of Gemini Parade will follow the same route as the Krewe of Centaur Parade and will begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10. The second major parade weekend in Shreveport-Bossier concludes with the Krewe of Highland Parade, a funky and unpredictable neighborhood parade that winds its way through the historic Highland neighborhood of Shreveport. The parade, which is known for unique throws including grilled hot dogs, packaged ramen noodles and more, begins at 2 p.m. at the intersection of Gregg Avenue and Gilbert Drive in Shreveport.
The Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau also produces a free, annual printed guide to local Carnival festivities, The Gris Gris Guide to Mardi Gras in Shreveport-Bossier, which is released each fall and can be requested by calling 800-551-8682.