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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (318) 429-0658 for more information.