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2014 Mardi Gras Season Kicks Off in Shreveport-Bossier

Tuesday, 7 January, 2014 14:20 by Chris Jay

More than 400,000 revelers are expected to participate in major parades including Krewe of Centaur (Feb. 22), Krewe of Gemini (March 1) and Krewe of Highland (March 2)
 

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER, LA – Carnival season is officially underway in Shreveport-Bossier. Major parade dates for 2014 include: the Krewe of Sobek, Jan. 18; the Krewe of Harambee, Jan. 20; the Krewe of Centaur, Feb. 22; the Krewe of Gemini, March 1; and the Krewe of Highland, March 2. In addition to parades, Carnival season in Shreveport-Bossier features extravagant bals, float-loading parties, live music events and more. 2014 marks the 25th annual celebration of Carnival season in Shreveport-Bossier since parading krewes returned to the region in 1989, and area krewes plan to celebrate the silver anniversary in style. A full listing of Carnival season events in Shreveport-Bossier can be found at www.sbfunguide.com.

Major Parade Weekends

A combined total of more than 400,000 revelers are expected to attend the Krewe of Centaur and Krewe of Gemini parades, which are the largest parades in northern Louisiana. The Krewe of Centaur XXIII parade, with the theme “Fables, Folk Lore and Fairy Tales,” will roll on Saturday, Feb. 22. The Krewe of Gemini XXV parade, with the theme “Throw Me a Memory, Mister!,” will roll on Saturday, March 1. Both parades begin at 4:30 p.m. at the intersection of Clyde Fant Parkway and Lake Street in downtown Shreveport and proceed south along the riverfront parade route before ending in Shreveport’s Broadmoor neighborhood at the intersection of Preston Street and East Kings Highway. The route for both parades includes a kid-friendly, alcohol-free zone located near the beginning of the parade route at the intersection of Clyde Fant Parkway and Stoner Avenue.

Neighborhood Parades

Shreveport-Bossier also offers a variety of neighborhood parades. The Krewe of Sobek parade, which will depart from Fairgrounds Field at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18, will roll through the Queensborough neighborhood with the theme “Sobek Under the Big Top.” The enormous Krewe of Harambee Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Mardi Gras Parade will roll through downtown Shreveport via Milam Street and Texas Street at 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 20. The Krewe of Harambee parade includes a large number of marching bands from throughout the region, as well as performing arts troupes including dance groups and stilt walkers. Following the parade, there is a “Battle of the Marching Bands” and second line in the 700 block of Elvis Presley Avenue near Shreveport Municipal Auditorium.

Pets have their own parade in Shreveport-Bossier, and thousands of pet owners dress their cats, dogs, ponies and more in Mardi Gras finery for the annual Krewe of Barkus and Meoux Pet Parade. Known locally as “the animal krewe,” the Krewe of Barkus and Meoux will march through RiverView Park in downtown Shreveport at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23. Pet registration information and other parade details are available at www.animalkrewe.org

Shreveport-Bossier’s largest neighborhood parade, the Krewe of Highland parade will roll through Shreveport’s historic Highland neighborhood at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 2. The Krewe of Highland is well-known for its funky, unpredictable array of floats, marching societies and bands, as well as unique throws that include grilled hot dogs, moon pies and more. The parade begins and ends at the intersection of Gilbert Drive and Gregg Avenue, proceeding along a circuitous route through the neighborhood via Gladstone Boulevard, Creswell Avenue, Olive Street and Centenary Boulevard. Popular spots for enjoying this parade include the area surrounding Columbia Park, 2900 Creswell Avenue, and the area surrounding the campus of Centenary College of Louisiana, 2911 Centenary Boulevard.  

For a complete listing of Carnival season festivities in Shreveport-Bossier, please visit www.sbfunguide.com. For more information on visiting Shreveport-Bossier, including accommodations, transportation and more, please visit www.shreveport-bossier.org.          

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NOTE TO MEDIA: Recent, high-quality images of Mardi Gras festivities in Shreveport-Bossier are available for media use. To request images, contact Chris Jay at cjay@sbctb.org.

Dallas Cowboys’ Jason Witten to Speak at AdvoCare V100 Bowl’s Fourth-Annual Kickoff Luncheon

Thursday, 6 June, 2013 14:02 by Chris Jay

Tickets Now Available for July 17 Event at Shreveport Convention Center

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER, LA – Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten will be the featured speaker at the Fourth Annual AdvoCare V100 Bowl Kickoff Luncheon scheduled for 11:45 a.m., Wednesday, July 17 at the Shreveport Convention Center in downtown Shreveport, Louisiana. Tickets for the luncheon are now available for $50 each. Tables of eight are available for $400. Tickets can be purchased by calling the AdvoCare V100 Bowl office at (318) 221-0712 or toll-free at (888) 414-BOWL (2695). Tickets can also be purchased online at www.advocarev100bowl.org by clicking the “Tickets” link.

“It's a privilege to have All-Pro Dallas Cowboy tight end Jason Witten as this year's featured speaker at the AdvoCare V100 Bowl Kickoff Luncheon,” 2013 AdvoCare V100 Bowl Chairman John Hubbard said. “Named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year last year, Jason's passion for community goes beyond his accomplishments on the field. Whether you wear black and gold or silver and blue, Jason's message is for you.”

Drafted by Dallas out of the University of Tennessee in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft, Witten is in his 11th season with the Cowboys. His 806 career receptions rank first in Cowboys’ history and third in the NFL among tight ends. His 8,948 career receiving yards also ranks third in NFL history among tight ends. Witten has been named to the Pro Bowl eight times, including seven-consecutive years from 2004-10, as well as 2012. He has also been voted an All-Pro six times, in 2004, 2007-10 and 2012.

Witten enjoyed a career year in 2012, hauling in an NFL record for tight ends and Cowboys’ franchise record 110 receptions for 1,039 yards and three touchdowns. In Week 8 against the New York Giants, Witten caught 18 passes for 169 yards, which is the NFL record for tight ends and Cowboys’ franchise record for receptions in a game.
Along with being one of the best tight ends in NFL history, Witten is also dedicated to the betterment of the community. Jason Witten’s SCORE Foundation has established a number of programs to combat domestic violence. He has also helped establish Learning Centers at the Boys and Girls Clubs in East Dallas, his hometown of Elizabethtown, Tenn. and in Knoxville, Tenn. He also hosts a free youth football clinic in Elizabethtown, with about 1,200 kids in attendance each year.

Witten was named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year in 2012, which recognizes a player’s volunteer and charity work, as well as on-field excellence.

Shreveport Farmers' Market Opens for 2013 Season

Wednesday, 29 May, 2013 16:48 by Chris Jay

Popular Saturday and Tuesday markets return with more than 150 booths, June 1-August 31

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER - The 2013 season of Shreveport Farmers’ Market will open on Saturday, June 1, with more than 150 booths of locally-grown produce, meat, honey, and plants as well as delicious artisan food products, arts and crafts, and Market Café. On Saturdays, the farmers’ market takes place in Festival Plaza on Crockett Street, from Market Street to Commerce Street in downtown Shreveport. On Tuesdays, a smaller market will be held on the east end of Festival Plaza, 3-6 p.m. The Saturday market takes place, 7 a.m.-12 p.m., June 1-August 31, with the exception of June 22. The Shreveport Farmers' Market is thought to be one of the fastest-growing markets in the southern United States, having grown from 2,000 attendees on opening day in 2008 to more than 12,000 attendees on opening day in 2012.     

With many new vendors and a new market layout, shoppers are urged to explore all sections of the market. This year, Market Café will be located in the tent adjacent to the East Pavilion, with a live band, and ready-to-eat cuisine ranging from beignets to East African specialties. The East Pavilion will house 86 vendors. An Artists Alley will feature artists working on their wares, including spinning locally-grown alpaca fibers and throwing pots.  Food Row is a new feature on the west side that is home to a variety of dairy foods; blanched, frozen vegetables; ethically-produced meats; as well as food trucks. In addition to the vendors, the West Pavilion will host various demonstrations, as well as bluegrass band The Blanchard Jammers on the second Saturday of each month. The gazebo on the west side will present fun activities for kids to learn about food, and occasionally taste new things, in conjunction with HGIO – Healthy, Green, and Into the Outdoors.

This year, Shreveport Farmers’ Market will accept SNAP (formerly food stamp) Benefits. Shoppers wanting to take advantage of the program will slide their cards at The Tower, located on the west side of the market, and their benefits will be converted to tokens with which they may use to shop at participating vendors. Some vendors also accept WIC and Senior Nutrition Food Program vouchers. There is also an ATM on site.

Parking is available at metered spaces which are free on Saturday on nearby streets, as well as in various public and pay lots nearby. Admission to Shreveport Farmers' Market is free.

For more information, visit www.shreveportfarmersmarket.com, or “like” Shreveport Farmers’ Market on Facebook for updates. Those with questions may also call 318-455-5788, or email to farmersmarket@redriverrevel.com. Shreveport Farmers’ Market is a project of Red River Revel Arts Festival, and is sponsored by Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport, and the City of Shreveport.

 

Chimp Haven to Host Second Annual Earth Day Festival on Saturday, April 20

Friday, 12 April, 2013 11:02 by Chris Jay

KEITHVILLE, LA – Chimp Haven will host its Second Annual Earth Day Festival, held in conjunction with Chimpanzee Discovery Day, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, April 20. Located 22 miles southwest of Shreveport, La., in the Eddie D. Jones Nature Park in Keithville, La., Chimp Haven serves as The National Chimpanzee Sanctuary. The annual Earth Day Festival includes opportunities to view resident chimpanzees, as well as food, art and exhibits by local environmental organizations, businesses and artisans. Admission to the festival is free.

Visitors will enjoy live music by AirHeart, as well as activities for the whole family. There will be opportunities to view the resident chimpanzees, new and old, in their natural environment as they forage for food. Guests will also have the chance to talk with staff members about the distinct personalities and natural behavior of the resident chimpanzees. Behind-the-scenes hayride tours will be offered every hour, on the half hour; however, seating is limited so it is recommended to make reservations prior to the event. Cost for the hayride is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and younger. Additional educational activities include fishing for candy termites, visiting the conservation station, and learning about chimpanzees’ habitats and behavior.

Educating the public about conservation is an important component of Chimp Haven’s mission. This event allows the sanctuary to serve the community in an educational capacity while providing an example of environmental stewardship.

“The focus of this year’s event will be sustainability, which is important not only for the wellbeing of humans, but also for the natural habitats of chimpanzees,” Chimp Haven President and Chief Executive Officer Cathy Willis Spraetz said. “As we educate individuals during Earth Day of the importance of developing personal sustainability practices, we also educate them on how to preserve the natural habitats of chimpanzees in Africa from right here in our community.”

This event is free and open to the public; however, donations are welcomed. Visitors may consider bringing peanut butter, flavored ice pops, animal crackers, elbow macaroni, instant rice, bagels and applesauce for the chimpanzees. Early arrival is recommended for best viewing. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

For more information on Earth Day or to RSVP for behind-the-scenes hayride tours, please call (318) 925-9575. For more information on Chimp Haven, the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary, visit www.chimphaven.org.

Spring 2013 Texas Avenue Makers Fair to be Held on Saturday, April 27

Thursday, 11 April, 2013 13:12 by Chris Jay

Unique arts and craft fair returns with 168 vendors, food truck court and more

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER, LA –
The Texas Avenue Community Association (TACA) will host the Spring 2013 edition of the Texas Avenue Makers Fair, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, April 27. The event will take place in the 800 block of historic Texas Avenue in downtown Shreveport, near the intersection of Common Street and Texas Avenue. Admission is free. The biannual Texas Avenue Makers Fair, held each spring and fall, invites non-traditional crafters, or "makers," to offer their handmade items for sale to the public. Original artwork, one-of-a-kind musical instruments, clothing, jewelry, limited edition graphics and made-from-scratch food are only a few of the items to be offered by participating vendors. More information, including a complete list of vendors, is available at www.texasavemakersfair.com.  

New for the Spring 2013 fair is a food truck court, located adjacent to the main vendor area. Participating food trucks will include Some Like It Hot, River City Seafood and JEMS Italian Ice. Additional food and drink vendors will be available in the main vendor area.

“We liked the idea of the food court because it gets the food trucks off to the side for easier traffic, and will also slightly bring people further down Texas Avenue,” said TACA member and festival organizer Kelly McSwain.     

TACA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the mission of which is to organize and promote community and community interest along the historic Texas Avenue corridor and its adjacent neighborhoods. One of TACA’s largest community outreach projects, the Texas Avenue Makers Fair is a completely volunteer-driven effort, involving approximately 50 volunteers. Sponsors of the Spring 2013 fair are Citizens National Bank, the Downtown Development Authority, minicine? Swampland, Credit Bureau of the South and Church of the Holy Cross. For more information on TACA, visit www.texasave.org

For more information on the Texas Avenue Makers Fair, visit www.texasavemakersfair.com or email makersfair@texasave.org.

This edition of the Texas Avenue Makers Fair will coincide with the ASEANA Spring Arts Festival, which will take place in the Asian Gardens located at the corner of Milam Street and Texas Avenue beginning at 12 p.m. Free to attend, the 2013 ASEANA Spring Arts Festival will celebrate the cuisine, music and dance of India. 

For more information on these and other events taking place in Shreveport-Bossier, visit www.shreveportbossierfunguide.com.  

NOTE TO MEDIA: High-quality, print-resolution images from past installments of the Texas Avenue Makers Fair are available for media use. To request images, contact Chris Jay at cjay@sbctb.org or call (318) 429-0658.

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New Details of Louisiana Soundtrack Experience Event at Shreveport Municipal Auditorium Announced

Tuesday, 19 February, 2013 16:27 by Chris Jay

Feb. 23 event will feature a guest performance by Willie Jones, as well as tributes to Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter and radio legend Frank Page

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER, LA – Organizers of the Louisiana Soundtrack Experience event “From Elvis to Hank to Johnny: Celebrating 65 Years of the Louisiana Hayride” have announced new details of the day-long program, which will take place on Saturday, Feb. 23 at Shreveport Municipal Auditorium. The event, a co-presentation of the Louisiana Office of Tourism and The Oxford American Magazine, will feature a 2 p.m. panel discussion featuring local music experts and moderated by music writer and Oxford American guest editor Alex Rawls, as well as a 4 p.m. screening of the LPB-produced documentary film Sunshine by the Stars and a 7 p.m. concert featuring performances by local rock group Dirtfoot and the legendary Louisiana Hayride Band. Admission to all events is free and open to the public.

Organizers have announced that the program will also feature a guest appearance by “X-Factor” finalist Willie Jones, as well as tributes to iconic radio station KWKH, blues legend Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter, Louisiana Hayride announcer Frank Page, record store owner Stan Lewis and others. Guest performers who will be joining the Louisiana Hayride Band onstage include honky-tonk artist Kenny Bill Stinson, songwriter Tony Ramey, Maggie Warwick, Bobby Cyrus, Debbie Money, Airheart, Denny Fontaine and more. Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and representatives of the Louisiana Office of Tourism will also be in attendance. Ken Shepherd will host the Louisiana Hayride portion of the program.

“From Elvis to Hank to Johnny: Celebrating 65 Years of the Louisiana Hayride” is the first of five Louisiana Soundtrack Experience events scheduled to take place throughout Louisiana as part of a year-long celebration of Louisiana’s rich musical heritage. For information on upcoming events in Natchitoches, Lafayette, Ferriday and New Orleans, visit www.louisianasoundtrack.com.

NOTE TO MEDIA: Several musicians and special guests have made themselves available for interviews and in-studio appearances related to the Louisiana Soundtrack Experience. If you would like to interview someone from this program, contact Chris Jay at (318) 429-0658 or (318) 272-1696 or by e-mail at cjay@sbctb.org.

A concert rehearsal featuring special guest Willie Jones will be held at 5 p.m., Sat., Feb. 23 at Shreveport Municipal Auditorium and all media are invited to attend.


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Shreveport-Bossier Attractions Association to Host “Engineering Transformational Experiences” Seminar on Monday, Jan. 28

Wednesday, 23 January, 2013 14:11 by Chris Jay

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER, LA – The Shreveport-Bossier Attractions Association’s first quarterly seminar for 2013, "Engineering Transformational Experiences,” will be held, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday, Jan. 28, at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. This seminar is free to attend and lunch will be provided. Participation is mandatory for attractions, festivals and tourism-related events or organizations that intend to apply for marketing assistance grants or cooperative printing programs administered by the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. The Shreveport-Bossier Attractions Association and the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau co-sponsor these quarterly seminars to help attractions enhance visitor experiences and better market and promote themselves.

The featured speaker for Jan. 28 is Joe Veneto, also known as “The Opportunity Guy.” He collaborates with destination marketing organizations to create innovative new customer experiences. He is an expert in the creation, design, scripting and staging of experiential tourism products. He has developed and implemented the experiential process in destinations including Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Columbus, Ohio; Dutchess County, New York and Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Seating is limited. RSVP to (318) 222-9391 by noon on Friday, January 25.

Parti-Gras 2013 Gives Locals, Visitors a New Way to Experience Mardi Gras in Shreveport-Bossier

Tuesday, 8 January, 2013 15:18 by Chris Jay

Inaugural event will include tent access, live music, food and more on Krewe of Gemini parade day, Saturday, Feb. 9

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER, LA – The Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau has partnered with Twine Shreveport, Holiday Inn Downtown, Shreveport Public Assembly and Recreation (SPAR) and the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to introduce a new Mardi Gras experience for locals and visitors alike. Parti-Gras 2013 will offer an all-inclusive parade day party package for the Krewe of Gemini parade, 1-6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9, including access to a party tent with live entertainment, authentic Louisiana cuisine, a keepsake custom Parti-Gras 2013 bead, two drink tickets per guest (a cash bar will also be available), appearances by local Mardi Gras royalty and more. The Parti-Gras tent will be located at the beginning of the parade route, at the corner of Clyde Fant Parkway and Lake Street, providing an optimum viewing location for guests. Following the parade, Parti-Gras participants will be invited to after-parties hosted by select downtown night clubs and casinos.

Admission to Parti-Gras is $50 per person at the door, $45 in advance for individuals or $40 per person for groups of 10 or more. Locals and out-of-town visitors alike are welcome. Parti-Gras 2013 is limited to participants ages 21 and up. Space is limited and advance ticket purchase is recommended. To purchase tickets, contact Twine Shreveport at (318) 759-7673 or visit www.parti-gras2013.com.  

“Our goal is to provide our visitors with a prime location along the parade route to enjoy and participate in Mardi Gras festivities,” said Erica Howard, tourism sales manager for the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. “We believe that out-of-town guests who are visiting for Mardi Gras will be especially attracted to the convenience of this parade day experience, and it’s a new way for locals to enjoy parade day, too.”

Holiday Inn Downtown Shreveport, located just one block from the Parti-Gras tent, is offering a special rate of $109 plus tax for Parti-Gras participants. Mention Parti-Gras to receive this promotional rate for the night of Feb. 9. For more information, contact Holiday Inn Downtown Shreveport at (318) 222-7717. Hotel accommodations are not included with Parti-Gras admission.

Major Shreveport-Bossier Mardi Gras parade dates for 2013 include: Krewe of Centaur, February 2; Krewe of Gemini, February 9; and Krewe of Highland, February 10. For a complete list of parades and more information on Mardi Gras festivities in Shreveport-Bossier, visit www.shreveportbossierfunguide.com or call (888) 45-VISIT.
                                                      
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Robinson Film Center of Louisiana to host the Oscar® Experience: Shreveport on February 24, 2013

Friday, 4 January, 2013 11:36 by Chris Jay

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER – The Robinson Film Center (RFC) will celebrate the 85th Academy Awards on February 24, 2013, with a red carpet watch party and Hollywood-style fundraiser at the Oscar® Experience: Shreveport. Movie-lovers are invited to dress for the flashing lights, watch the show on big screens, and glam it up like celebrities to boost the nonprofit’s mission.

“We’re thrilled to bring Hollywood’s biggest night to our theaters,” said RFC executive director Alexandyr Kent. “Our boosters demand great movies, and the Oscars are important to them. It’s a best of both worlds to, on the same night, celebrate cinema’s greatest and strengthen our nonprofit.”

The evening will include red carpet arrivals with live television coverage from KTBS 3, the Shreveport-based ABC TV affiliate that will broadcast the Academy Awards live on February 24.

Also, guests can expect glamorous red carpet photo opp’s; an elegant reception tent on Texas Street; jewelry and fashion showcases; and signature martinis, heavy hors d’oeuvres and cupcakes designed by the film center’s Abby Singer’s Bistro. Guests can watch the live Oscar broadcast wherever they are, be it inside RFC’s two theaters, in the bistro, or the grand reception tent on Texas Street.

“We love our audience, and this is an opportunity to say thank you to them with a little high Southern style,” said board of directors president Waynette Ballengee. “Who doesn’t want to walk down a red carpet on Oscar night?”

RFC also will unveil the nonprofits’ latest Sidewalk Superstars, a program where $15,000 donors see their name—or an honored loved one’s—installed in the sidewalk outside the theaters doors.

“For our gala in April, we honored eight star sponsors,” said Tina Kendrick, co-chair of development for RFC’s board of directors. “Oscar night is the perfect night to toast our newest Sidewalk Superstars and celebrate the continued growth of our community contributors.”

Kendrick co-chairs development with Lampton Enochs, an RFC board member and founding member of Moonbot Studios. His business partners William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg won the Academy Award for the 2011 best animated short film for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. It was produced by Moonbot Studios entirely in Louisiana.

“Our state produces great artists,” said Enochs, “and the Robinson Film Center plays a vital role in showcasing and advancing their work. We need to continue to support RFC with our passion and donations. The Oscar Experience offers us the perfect night to do that.”

Tickets for Oscar Experience: Shreveport will be $75 each. RFC members can buy tickets beginning December 26, 2012. Tickets go on sale to the general public (including members) on January 7, 2013. Sidewalk Star sponsorships of RFC are $15,000 each. To purchase tickets, call (318) 459-4122.

"We ask a lot of movie-goers, and we are grateful every day for their generosity,” Kent said. “I invite everyone who loves the Oscars, who loves movies, and who loves the Robinson Film Center to join the glamorous side of a good cause on February 24. You won’t forget it.”

Mission of the Robinson Film Center
The Robinson Film Center’s mission is to educate, enrich and entertain through the power of film. RFC is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit arts organization located at 617 Texas Street in Shreveport, La.

 

Mardi Gras Season in Shreveport-Bossier Offers Huge Parades, Quirky Neighborhood Celebrations, and More

Monday, 17 December, 2012 9:57 by Chris Jay

Parade dates include the Krewe of Centaur, Feb. 2, and the Krewe of Gemini, Feb. 9
 
SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER, LA – Located in the northwest corner of Louisiana, Shreveport-Bossier has established itself as a popular regional Mardi Gras destination for locals and visitors alike. Over the course of Shreveport-Bossier’s Mardi Gras season - which officially begins with the annual 12th Night Celebration on Saturday, Jan. 5, and closes following the Fat Tuesday Bridge Closing Ceremony at midnight on Tuesday, Feb. 12 - an estimated 400,000 people from throughout the region will experience Mardi Gras in Shreveport-Bossier. 

The two largest evening parades in Shreveport-Bossier are the Krewe of Centaur (www.kreweofcentaur.org), 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 2, and the Krewe of Gemini (www.kreweofgemini.com), 5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9. Both parades will begin at the corner of Clyde Fant Parkway and Lake Street in downtown Shreveport, proceed down Clyde Fant Parkway and turn onto Shreveport-Barksdale Highway, ending at the intersection of Preston Avenue and East Kings Highway near Duck Pond Park.

The Krewe of Centaur parade, "Centaur's Parade of Festivals," will be led by Grand Marshals and Academy Award® winners William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg of Moonbot Studios. Among the float themes will be the Roswell UFO Festival, Navy Fleet Week, and the Running of the Bulls. This year's parade will feature 31 floats, 10 marching bands and 600 krewe members throwing more than 2 milllion beads, cups, stuffed animals, doubloons, and toys. The Krewe of Centaur Float Loading Party will be held at the Krewe of Centaur Den, 948 North Market in Shreveport, 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 1. Float-loading parties are free opportunities for the public to get a “sneak peek” of the floats, socialize and take photos with krewe royalty.

The Krewe of Gemini parade theme for 2013 is “Gemini Loves Television”. Individual float themes will include “The Simpsons”, “Cheers”, and “Happy Days”. The Krewe of Gemini Float Loading Party will be held at the Krewe of Gemini Den, 2101 East Texas St. in Bossier City, 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 8. The Krewe of Gemini Den is also home to the Krewe of Gemini Mardi Gras Museum, which houses the world’s second-largest collection of Mardi Gras royalty costumes. Make time to explore the Krewe of Gemini Mardi Gras Museum during the float-loading festivities or call (318) 218-2865 to plan a visit.

Shreveport-Bossier’s annual Mardi Gras celebrations also include a number of smaller, quirkier parades and events. The Krewe of Barkus and Meoux’s Pet Contest and Mardi Paw Pet Parade provides a chance for festive pets to celebrate Mardi Gras in their own parade on Sunday, Feb. 3 at Riverview Park in downtown Shreveport. Activities begin at 1:30 p.m. and the Mardi Paw Pet Parade rolls at 3 p.m. The Krewe of Aesclepius Children’s Parade will take place at Pierre Bossier Mall in Bossier City, Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m. The Krewe of Aesclepius Children’s Parade emphasizes families and children, featuring up to 50 floats and an alcohol-free, kid-friendly environment. The Krewe of Aesclepius also marks the finale of Mardi Gras celebrations in Shreveport-Bossier with their Fat Tuesday Bridge Closing Ceremony on the Texas Street Bridge at 11:30 p.m. The Fat Tuesday Bridge Closing Ceremony, one of Shreveport-Bossier’s most unusual Mardi Gras season events, features a blessing of the neon-adorned Texas Street Bridge led by Monsignor Provenza of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, as well as a final round of revelry leading up to midnight.

Celebrating 18 years in 2013, the Krewe of Highland parade is one of Louisiana’s largest neighborhood parades. It is scheduled to roll at 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 10 through the historic Highland neighborhood located off Kings Highway between Byrd High School and Centenary College. The parade begins at the corner of Creswell Avenue and Kings Highway and winds through the neighborhood. The Highland parade has become well-known for its unique throws, which usually include hot dogs, SPAM sandwiches and Moon Pies, and for the krewe’s diverse membership. After the Krewe of Highland parade ends, parade-goers gather to continue the party at celebrations hosted by Highland’s Columbia Park, 2900 Creswell Avenue in Shreveport, and Marilynn’s Place Restaurant, 4041 Fern Avenue in Shreveport.  
 
For more information about Mardi Gras in Shreveport-Bossier, visit www.shreveport-bossier.org/mardi-gras or select the “Mardi Gras” page at www.shreveportbossierfunguide.com.


NOTE TO MEDIA: High-resolution, print quality images of Mardi Gras festivities in Shreveport-Bossier are available. Contact Chris Jay at cjay@sbctb.org or (318) 429-0658 for more information.
                                                              
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