Fat Tuesday in Shreveport-Bossier and the Texas Street Bridge Closing Ceremony

Historically, Fat Tuesday celebrations in Shreveport-Bossier have been much calmer and family-oriented than Fat Tuesday festivities held elsewhere in Louisiana. This year, the Krewe of Aesclepius Children’s Parade (Facebook event link here), which is the second-oldest Mardi Gras parade in Shreveport-Bossier, will again roll at 7 p.m. at Pierre-Bossier Mall. There’s also a fun-sounding Courir de Mardi Gras-inspired run through Broadmoor (Facebook event link here), but it still feels as if the wild season of revelry that is Mardi Gras in Shreveport-Bossier winds down, for the most part, following the massive Krewe of Gemini/Krewe of Highland parade weekend.

If you’re like me, you need one last dose of Carnival season weirdness to symbolically bring the season to a close. The Texas Street Bridge Closing Ceremony, held each Fat Tuesday at midnight, is definitely symbolically weird. I’ve attended the last two closing ceremonies and, while the event is primarily intended for the enjoyment of royalty from the major parading krewes, the public is welcome and the spectacle is worth seeing – at least once.

A photo of the Texas Street Bridge
Krewe members gather on the Texas Street Bridge in downtown Shreveport.

During the ceremony, a huge crowd of krewe members gathers at the apex of the Texas Street Bridge in downtown Shreveport, which is closed to traffic. Beginning at around 11:30 p.m., floats from each major krewe arrive and krewe royalty are recognized. Just before midnight, there is a final toast to the Carnival season, followed by Msgr. Earl V. Provenza of Holy Trinity Catholic Church administering ashes to those in attendance who’d like to receive the ashes that signify the arrival of Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.      

If it’s a warm night out on Tuesday, and you’re not quite ready to put away your Carnival spirit until next year, consider heading out to the Texas Street Bridge Closing Ceremony for one last round of celebration and a perfect bookend to the season. 

View a set of photos from the 2012 Texas Street Bridge Closing Ceremony.

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