The earliest Mardi Gras parade on Shreveport-Bossier’s annual Carnival calendar is hosted by the Krewe of Sobek, whose parade will roll at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. They’ll also host their popular ball on Friday, Jan. 17 at Shreveport Convention Center. In addition to a big party and parade, this community-oriented krewe makes appearances at local schools, hospitals, and retirement homes, spreading the joy of Carnival season.

Recently, we sat down with Parade Chairperson Shirley Pierson and Queen Sobek XVII Valerie White of the Krewe of Sobek, who shared some great insights into everything from what to expect from the Krewe of Sobek’s “Harlem Nights” Ball (it’s all about the tableau, and tickets are going fast!) to where to park if you’d like to attend the Krewe of Sobek Parade but don’t know the neighborhood.

Watch the video below or keep reading for a summary of useful info from our conversation. If you’re looking for useful info on every Mardi Gras parade and event in Shreveport-Bossier, you can view or download the 2020 Gris Gris Guide to Mardi Gras in Shreveport-Bossier or request that a free copy be mailed to your home (be sure to tick the box that says “Mardi Gras Guide”).

The Krewe of Sobek’s “Harlem Nights” Grande Bal
When: 6 p.m., Friday, Jan. 17, 2020 (Tableau presentation at 8 p.m.)
Where: Shreveport Convention Center, 400 Caddo Street, Shreveport
Admission $80, formal dress required, tickets available here
Music by DJ Love

Shirley Pierson on the Sobek Ball:
“The tableau with Sobek is really special. We go all out. The tableau is our big entertainment, and with this krewe of royalty this year…they’re off the chain. They are really bringing it.”

Shirley Pierson on the Sobek parade’s most coveted throw:
“The throws are gonna be really great this year, we’re throwing more than beads. We’re throwing hula hoops, we’re throwing candy, tambourines and (holds up stuffed crocodile with ‘Sobek’ stitched on front) this is what you want to get, the Sobek Crocodile.”

Kids catch beads and other throws during the Krewe of Sobek Parade in 2019. Photo by Chelsa King.

The Krewe of Sobek’s “Harlem Nights” Parade
When: 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020
Where: Exit the Fairgrounds onto Greenwood Road headed west; right turn, headed north on Mertis Street; right turn, headed east on Lakeshore; right turn, headed south on Missouri back to the Fairgrounds. See the website for a route map.
Parade Marshal: Entertainer Betty Lewis

Shirley Pierson on the Sobek Parade:
“I would suggest a good place for you to come (and watch the parade), if you’re not familiar with the neighborhood, is on Lakeshore Drive. It’s easily accessible, and a great viewing area.”

If you’re looking for a landmark to plug into Google Maps to reach the area described by Ms. Pierson, plug in Bilberry Park or Sunrise Baptist Church.

Find lots more info on Mardi Gras in Shreveport-Bossier at

Photos for this post by Chelsa King. 20× is a publication of The Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau.

Despite below-freezing temperatures, the kids of the Krewe of Sobek were all smiles in 2019. Photo by Chelsa King.