By Donna Long
Located just 15 minutes from the East Texas border are two cities connected by a tremendous community spirit and the Red River. Shreveport – Bossier City is home to riverboat casinos, year-round festivals, and one of the most prolonged and diverse Mardi Gras celebration
periods in Louisiana.
Mardi Gras Brief
Mardi Gras is a time to celebrate and party. Many people may not realize that Mardi Gras is an important day marking the end of the Carnival season and the beginning of Lent. Historically, Carnival or Mardi Gras season begins with the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6 which is also the Twelfth Night after Christmas. Epiphany is the day that the three Wise Men visited baby Jesus and paid homage to him as the Messiah. Traditionally, This is also the first day that Mardi Gras King Cakes are available for the Carnival season until Mardi Gras.
Krewes organize parties, balls, design and decorate floats, and help promote the betterment of the community. Krewes have diverse missions and goals, from benefiting neglected or abused animals in shelters to helping people in need get back on their feet.
Active year-round in each of their preferred area of the community, the krewes of Shreveport kick it into high gear from mid-January to the end of February with celebrations and festivities. Dispensing good cheer and well wishes in upbeat songs and mid-day parades that create a happy vibe which resonates throughout the community. The upbeat vibe is so prevalent that mini parades have been known to break out in restaurants during the lunch hour rush with patrons parading around the tables before they finish their noon-day meal.
Krewe of Harambee
The first parade to grace downtown Shreveport is the Krewe of Harambee parade hosted by the Krewe of Harambee (Swahili for “let’s pull together”) on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Harambee combines the mantra of helping your neighbor with Dr. King’s life work and belief that civil rights are not dependent on skin color.
“There is within human nature an amazing potential for goodness” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Krewe of Centaur
Tied together with the goal of creating a better community and the pursuit of good ol’ fashioned family fun, the Krewe of Centaur hosted a community wide float-loading party at their Krewe Den. Party-goers could hobnob with the royalty, collect exclusive beads, and get an up-close and personal view of the colorfully dramatic floats before the parade the next evening.
To read more pick up a copy of the March/April 2018 issue.