ComboFelt_sml8bit2:00 PM, February 15, 2015, the Blanc et Noir Marching Society will lead off the 2015 20th annual Krewe of Highland XX Parade in the Highland district of Shreveport Louisiana. The family-oriented tradition of Shreveport Mardi Gras is embodied in the daytime parade on the Sunday prior to the official Mardi Gras “Fat Tuesday.”

Art by Karen T. LaBeau. Used with grateful permission.

Past parades symbolically have included over 100 Mardi Gras floats, antique vehicles, marching bands, and tractor-pulled floats or other mechanized platforms that enable the entertainment and festival that Mardi Gras festivities are expected to have.

The Blanc et Noir Marching Society is a traditional marching group, started by Mardi Gras historian and traditionalist, teacher, and artist Robert Trudeau. Accompanied by a New Orleans-style jazz band (in previous years the Grambling University Jazz Ensemble), this year awaits the music notes of the Matthew Davidson Band.

Marchers dress in Black and White and may paint their faces prior to the parade in a manner of masque similar to the traditional Mardi Gras Reveler’s masque. Mardi Gras throws may be doubloons, beads, stickers, stuffed animals or anything a marcher may carry. In past years the throws from the group have included whistles and pins with Mardi Gras slogans or symbols. 2014 promises surprises!

Yet the Krewe of Highland has some of the most obscure and flamboyant societies, such as the “Krewe of Barbeque” who throw wrapped hotdogs or other forms of outdoor cooked food — prepared prior to the movement of the vehicles! And traditional festivities are stretched by such throws as Easter Peeps, Marshmallow critters or other foods or toys that are always enjoyed by the crowd.

Come to Highland along the traditional parade route streets of Creswell, Highland, Centenary, and numerous cross streets as the parade weaves through the historic neighborhood. But look for the Blanc et NoirMarchers with Jazz to lead the way on March 2, 2014.

Marching in the Krewe of Highland Parade