ComboFelt_sml8bitNOTE: Past and aspiring participants for 2017 need to begin plans and submit comments on the Blanc et Noir Facebook Group page to join the planners for next year!

1:00 PM, February 7, 2016, the Blanc et Noir Marching Society lead off the 2016 21st annual Krewe of Highland 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.”

2016 Blanc et Noir Brunch photo
2016 Blanc et Noir Brunch photo

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.

Jerry Davenport, Robert & Talbot Trudeau (left to right)
co-founders, Jerry Davenport, Robert Trudeau (left to right) with Talbot Trudeau

The Blanc et Noir Marching Society is a traditional marching group, started by Mardi Gras historian and traditionalist, teacher, and artist Robert Trudeau; and artist, dancer, teacher and New Orleans native, Jerry Davenport. Accompanied by a New Orleans-style marching jazz band (in previous years the Grambling University Jazz Ensemble)while 2016 was an ensemble of the Grambling Band jazz alumni. Additionally, 2016 the music notes of Matthew Davidson with his band, Jazz Junction entertained at brunch.

Face_paint-01Marchers 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. Face_paint-02Mardi 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. 2016 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.Face_paint-02A

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 February 7, 2016.

2016 Blanc et Noir Brunch photo-panThe Blanc et Noir pre-parade brunch is a must for krewe participants to face paint, gather final instructions and the group photo. 509 Linden is the brunch address, and be sure to contact Marion or Robert via FaceBook  to join the krewe, participate in costume, bead and brunch events and for future information.

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

Past and aspiring participants for 2017 need to begin plans and submit comments on the Blanc et Noir Facebook Group page to join the planners for next year!

Marching in the Krewe of Highland Parade