Parade Day Tips from the Krewe of Centaur
If you're ready to catch your wight in beads this Saturday at the Krewe of Centaur Parade February 7th, the folks from Centaur have a few tips for you!
Here are some simple things from the Centaur website to help make your parade day experience excellent!
The parade will BEGIN downtown, on Clyde Fant Parkway, at Lake St., and head south bound to Shreveport-Barksdale Highway, where it will continue, westwardly to E. KINGS HWY, where it will again turn south and continue to Preston. The parade ENDS just before Preston where the "Parade End" sign is. Floats will stop throwing at this point. The parade will start at 4:30 pm, RAIN OR SHINE.
Where to get?: Many folks ask "Where is the best spot along the parade route." It's hard for us to tell, we're not watching, we're RIDING in the parade. But, we expect that anywhere along the route you will be able to see the parade and catch some really cool stuff. Historically, Shreve City was absolutely WILD, but that area now has barricades, so in recent years it has become slightly more tame. The last leg of the parade, along E. Kings Hwy., used to be more family and residential oriented, but, has in recent years become more WILD (at least that's the way it looks to us from the floats). The most under-utilized areas in recent years have been ON Clyde Fant Parkway, not AT, but BETWEEN, the major intersections. (so park and do some walking).
Also, do you want a Day Time or Night Time parade experience? Our floats are 'lighted', so you can see the floats in day light or night light. If you watch the parade at the beginning, it will be mostly daylight, throughout the whole parade. If you stand along Shreveport Barksdale Hwy., and in front of Shreve City, you'll get a little daylight and a little night light. If you get near the end (along E. Kings Hwy.), it will be all night time.
(Special Note: Floats will NOT throw, before they cross Lake Street at the beginning, and they will STOP throwing just BEFORE Preston St., where the "Parade End" sign is. If a float STOPS, for whatever reason, throwing will stop, until the float continues on.)
STREETS CLOSE !! : You may want to 'review' the parade route the DAY BEFORE or MORNING OF the parade, to determine what is the best spot for you. But, be aware, that the City - CLOSES THE STREETS - at around 3:00 p.m. ... AND experienced parade goers mark their spot (by tailgating) starting EARLY, the morning of parade day.
RESERVED SPOTS: The City of Shreveport 'leases' spots along E. Kings Highway. You must contact the City about reserving these spots. The Krewe has no control over these. Certainly, they are first come first served, and sell out quickly. (Contact SPAR - Shreveport Public Assembly and Recreation -- http://www.myspar.org/ )
Alcohol Free Zone: The City of Shreveport maintains a family-friendly, alcohol-free zone. This is along Clyde Fant Parkway, from the old railroad trestle, N. to Stoner Ave. You may contact the City for more info. You can get to this area by driving down Stoner Ave, where it intersect with Clyde Fant Parkway.
Street Vendors - Want to sell your wares? The City requires a permit to sell merchandise along the parade route. You need to contact the City for that permit. The Krewe has no authority over this. Try here first: Mark Colwick - firstname.lastname@example.org - ph# 318-673-5595 .
What About the Weather?: The Centaur parade ROLLS - RAIN or SHINE! So, watch the weather report. You may or may not need, warm clothes, an umbrella, or a slicker suit! The only thing that will stop the parade is a declaration of unsafe condtions (hail, excessive lightning, or a natural disaster).
SAFETY: There will be over 200,000 people on the streets during our parade, so we have to pay attention to safety. Don't cross in front or behind the floats (you think we can see you there, but we can't.) We encourage our riders to throw to the BACK OF THE CROWD, so that you don't get too close ... so, don't get too close.
We STOP THROWING, when the parade pauses or stops (the parade will periodically and mysteriously stop and start ... we don't know WHY it does that, but it does, so we use these moments as OUR mini-intermission, where we rest and re-load ... and don't throw.)
(Floats will not START throwing until they cross LAKE ST. at the beginning - they will NOT throw while lined up on Clyde Fant, waiting for the parade to start ... so, don't go to the float staging area on Clyde Fant! The parade ENDS just before Preston St. Don't expect anything at or after this intersection .. the parade has ended ... if you are here, you will have missed it!)
It ain't over till it's over! Occassionally BIG GAPS develop between floats (we don't know why this happens, but it does ... and we work hard each year to avoid it). But, the parade is not over until you see the last float come by with a THE END banner on it, and it'll probably be followed by Fire Trucks and Police cars. (If you haven't counted about 30 throwing floats, it probably ain't over.)
NEVER: Throw anything back at the float. If you don't like what you have, give it to that kid next to you (that you've been stepping on)! (We're giving, and not expecting to receive. Our hands are full and we're not looking!)
DON'T: New trees have been planted in the median along Clyde Fant Parkway. Please DON'T attempt to park you car near one of these new little trees.
ALWAYS: Bring a lawn chair, a sandwich (or more), and an ice chest ... make a day of it. Respect others ... Obey the law ..HAVE FUN!! ... Take time to notice the ART - WORK that we've put into creating each float. (They are done by each individual float's riders and members.) (and think about joining us as a member!)
Happy Mardi Gras!