8 Colorful Ways to Celebrate Mardi Gras in Shreveport

Laissez bon temps roule! That’s Cajun French for, “Let the good times roll!” I was invited by the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau to experience Mardi Gras in Shreveport/Bossier, and it was such a magical and unforgettable experience. Parades with elaborate floats, people in even more elaborate costumes, mouth-watering fare, and the most electric energy of joy and community. Here are some colorful ways to celebrate Mardi Gras in Shreveport!

Mardi Gras in Shreveport

Ring in Mardi Gras in Shreveport with King Cake from Lilah’s Bakery

Lilah’s Bakery has one of the most diverse selections of King Cakes in Shreveport-Bossier. They host events where you can have hands-on experience making your own miniature King Cake (see the Instagram video above to see me in action!). But if you just want to let the experts make your cake, Lilah’s Bakery is sure to have a filling made for your taste. They have more than two dozen flavors, including maple bacon, Black Forrest, blueberry, bavarian cream, strawberry bavarian cream, and get this, BOUDIN! Boudin King Cake! The Boudin King Cakes are available to preorder for Saturday pickups.

Lilah’s King Cakes
1718 Centenary Blvd, Shreveport, LA 71101

Pick beautiful masks from Enchanted Garden.

Mardi Gras in Shreveport
Photo by: Kyle Johnson

Enchanted Garden is the perfect 9-room gift shop for you to peruse for unique gifts and mementos of your trip to Shreveport. Go during Mardi Gras season and you’ll see their beautifully decorated mantle (that changes with the seasons). Towards the back, they have a large collection of handmade beautiful Mardi Gras masks for you to peruse and try on. Dennis and Debra, the brother and sister duo overseeing Enchanted Garden are the sweetest most welcoming store-owners.

Enchanted Garden
2429 Line Ave, Shreveport, LA 71104

Load up on crawfish and Cajun food before (and after) your Mardi Gras parties and parades!

Mardi Gras in Shreveport - Cajun Asian

If you’re visiting Shreveport during the magical Mardi Gras season, you must load up on their Cajun food and crawfish. Seriously, load up. I miss the food already, and it’s only been a day since I’ve left.

The particular spread featured in the photo above is from Cajun Asian. I’ve been obsessed with Viet-Cajun style crawfish ever since watching that crawfish episode on Ugly Delicious. I have only managed to find this style of crawfish in Houston, so this Shreveport/Bossier gem was a wonderful surprise. Their dishes were a successful blend of Cajun and Viet flavors. Sometimes when two culinary cultures are haphazardly fused together, you get food that misses the mark on hitting the right notes, notes that resonate with both cultures while also being delicious. Well, that’s not the case with Cajun Asian. I asked the owner and chef how a man with Cajun roots could hit these Asian notes so well. He shared he’s marrying a Vietnamese woman. So there it is. Two cultures melding with love and respect can yield beautiful marriages.

Pictured: Viet Cajun crawfish, jambalaya egg rolls, Shaking Beef (a traditional Vietnamese dish), crawfish étouffée fried rice, gumbo, and Cajun Pho

Stay tuned for a Shreveport food guide!

The Cajun Asian
1964 Airline Drive, Bossier City

(If you’re in Houston, check out my list of favorite Houston Vietnamese restaurants.)

Attend a Float-Loading Party

Photo by Kyle Johnson

When krewes gear up for major events and parades, it can feel like all work and no play. Times are changing and now celebration-prep can also be celebrations in themselves! Krewe of Gemini holds a party open to the public the night before their parade as they load their colorful floats while listening to music and enjoying food and drink.

Attend a Mardi Gras Parade and Catch Some Beads

We attended the Krewe of Gemini float-loading party and got to see the floats again in action on parade day! Such a fun experience screaming for attention and trying our hand at catching beads!

Photo by Kyle Johnson

Attend the quirky Krewe of Highland Mardi Gras Parade

One of the more popular parades is the Krewe of Highland parade, known for its quirky throws. An estimated 3,000 hot dogs were tossed (yes, hot dogs), 1,000 50-cent coins, MoonPies, ramen noodle packages, cups, and of course, endless Mardi Gras beads (source). I was fortunate not only to attend this famous parade but also to ride one of the floats and throw beads!

Ride a float and throw some beads!

Photo by Kyle Johnson

This year I was lucky to ride one of the floats in the Highland parade with my host Shreveport/Bossier and threw beads to happily screaming children (and adults), many calling, “throw me something, mister!” What a treasure of an experience to see elated faces light up when they catch something. It rained the whole time but no one seemed to be bothered at all!

Photo of Kyle Johnson. Can you tell that’s me even with a mask on? Ha!

We didn’t have hot dogs on our float during the Highland parade but when we shamefully ran out of beads before the parade ended, we did give out water bottles. And when we ran out of water bottles, we recruited kindhearted parade-goers to throw us some beads! What a generous and fun-spirited time!

Photo by Kyle Johnson

Attend a Mardi Gras Ball

Photo from 2020 Krewe of Harambee’s 20th Mardi Gras Bal by Kyle Johnson

I attended as a Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau guest the Krewe of Harambee’s 20th annual Mardi Gras Bal. It was such a breathtaking experience. The Krewe of Harambee’s tradition is to hold their parade on Martin Luther King Day. During Mardi Gras, they host a beautiful ball where they present their royalty to the attendees. Formal attire is required.

And there you have it. Eight colorful and joyful ways to celebrate Mardi Gras in Shreveport-Bossier. Shreveport has a direct flight available from Charlotte. For my Houston friends, it’s just a 4-hour drive and 3 hours from Austin! My flight to Houston from Shreveport was just an hour!

Stay tuned for more guides on this quirky destination!

So tell me in the comments. Have you been to Mardi Gras in Louisiana?

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