Den Parties are the “backstage pass” of Mardi Gras

Before I attended my first den party, I had no idea what they were or what they involved. Having attended a few now, I try not to miss these laid-back, pre-parade parties. The Krewe of Centaur Float-Loading Party will be held tomorrow night, 6-9 p.m., Friday, Feb. 1, at  the Krewe of Centaur Events Center, located at 948 North Market Street in Shreveport. Admission is free and open to the public, but it’s always smart to bring a little cash for food and drink. During the event, visitors can see the floats before they roll on Saturday, enjoy live music, catch some beads, meet krewe members and occasionally gather some limited-edition royalty beads from krewe royalty in attendance.

A photo from the Krewe of Centaur Den Party in Shreveport
A family admires a float at the Krewe of Centaur Float-Loading Party in 2011

If you’re planning on attending a den party for the first time this year, here’s a word to the wise: Parking can be difficult at both of the major den parties, especially at the peak of the event. Be patient and consider parking farther from the event to make things easier on yourself when it’s time to go.

2013’s Krewe of Centaur Parade XXII rolls at 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 2, and has the theme “Centaur’s Parade of Festivals.” Visitors to the float-loading party will get to see floats with themes like Mudbug Madness, Day of the Dead, Blue Angels Air Show and more.

The Krewe of Gemini Float-Loading Party will be held, 6-9 p.m., Friday, Feb. 8 at the Krewe of Gemini Den, 2101 East Texas Street in Bossier City.

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