Kid-Friendly to Cray Cray: A Beginner’s Guide to Mardi Gras in Shreveport-Bossier

Carnival season has hit full swing, and Shreveport-Bossier’s weekend events calendars are packed with parades, masked bals, parties and more. If you’re a newcomer to the area or a first-time visitor, you may have questions about Shreveport-Bossier’s Mardi Gras celebrations. Here are some useful resources for Shreveport-Bossier Mardi Gras newbies:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How big of a deal is Mardi Gras in Shreveport-Bossier? Is it, like, big big?
    Believe it or not, we get this question a lot. Shreveport Public Assembly and Recreation (SPAR) estimates that Shreveport’s two largest parades, Gemini and Centaur, are attended by a combined total of approximately 570,000 people.

    A photo of Shreveport Mardi Gras in 1899
    A Mardi Gras parade rolls through downtown Shreveport in 1899. Photo courtesy of the LSUS Noel Memorial Archives Flickr account.
  • Where are the best places to watch the Krewe of Centaur and Krewe of Gemini parades?
    That depends on what kind of experience you’d like to have. For families with young children, the best bet is in or near Veterans Park on Clyde Fant Parkway, in the designated alcohol-free zone. The only place to really avoid with family is the Shreve City area of Shreveport-Barksdale Highway, which can get kind of rowdy. Wherever you decide to see the parades, be sure to read the SPD rules and regulations to get up to speed on where you can park, what you can bring, etc.
  • Where’s the best place to watch the Highland Parade? 
    The Krewe of Highland Parade is a daylight parade – it begins and ends in broad daylight – and, honestly, the whole route is kid-friendly. There’s always a friendly crowd near the beginning of the parade, near the intersection of Gilbert Drive and Gregg Avenue, but the last half-mile or so of the parade, near the intersection of Kings Highway and Centenary Boulevard, is also a great spot. The annual Mardi Gras Bash at Marilynn’s Place restaurant following the parade is kid-friendly for the first half of the day, but gets wilder as the day goes on.
  • Where can I buy Mardi Gras stuff and souvenirs? 
    Tubbs Hardware and Cajun Gifts is a great one-stop shop for all things Mardi Gras, whether you need to purchase thousands of Moon Pies, beads, rubber chickens, or just a keepsake t-shirt. If you’re looking for custom-made Mardi Gras masks, definitely head to The Enchanted Garden.

Most of all, remember to have fun, celebrate responsibly, and respect your neighbors along the parade route as well as the members of the krewes who make Mardi Gras happen each year. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Have a specific question? Call the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau at 800-551-8682.

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