As someone who is responsible for marketing the collective experience of Mardi Gras season in Shreveport-Bossier, I’m pretty sure that I’m not supposed to use words like “favorite.” But, honestly, the Krewe of Harambee’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Mardi Gras Parade is one of my favorite experiences of the year. The 2013 parade, with the theme “Coming to America 2,” will roll through downtown Shreveport at 1 p.m. on Monday, January 21.
Here are a few reasons why I love this parade:
- Marching bands galore
Something about the explosive energy of a marching band really does it for me, and this parade usually has lots of bands from regional high schools and universities. There’s no warmer welcome to Mardi Gras season than the low, brassy blast of a sousaphone.
- It’s great for kids
Many of Shreveport-Bossier’s Mardi Gras parades are designed with families in mind. At the Krewe of Harambee parade, kids really seem to be the guests of honor. In 2011, I saw Caddo Commissioner Matthew Linn toss this kid the enormous bundle of beads he’s holding. The kid proceeded to have a bead-induced joy meltdown. It was, literally, the first throw of the parade. Oh, and they throw lots of candy.
- You can see it twice
Like the Krewe of Highland Parade, the Krewe of Harambee MLK Day Mardi Gras Parade travels a square-ish route that makes it easy to catch the fun twice. Enjoy the parade as it heads east on Milam, then reposition yourself on Texas Street (one block away) and get ready for more throws!
Hopefully, I’ll see you at the parade. It’s a great way to celebrate Dr. King and his legacy while welcoming the Mardi Gras season. Need more convincing? Check out this gallery of photos from the 2011 parade.