Monday, January 29, 2007

Costume Workshop Sat, Feb 3, 10 to 1, at Artspace; band chosen; Ch 3live Feb 14

* The Costume Workshop & bring-your-lunch party (sodas avail. at Artspace) will take place at Artspace Sat, Feb 3 from 10 am to 1 pm.
Trudeau and Davenport will give a brief Q & A on Carnival and the second line. Trudeau will show slides of carnival worldwide.

* The African-American History Parade will take place on Milam and Texas Saturday morn and we expect the streets to be crowded with parked cars and spectators. It's a huge parade, says Tarama. Parking near Artspace may be difficult if you don't arrive early. We are anticipating watching part of the parade from the 3rd floor windows of Artspace. While we eat lunch, perhaps.

The annual African American History parade, with floats and bands, begins 11 am at the Municipal Auditorium with the grand stand located at the courthouse on Texas Street. For more information call 318-635-2923. 11 a.m.

* We've got a hot band for our parade debut! They are called the Red & Black and are based in Grambling. Leader Daryl Williams is a former New Orleanian who knows exactly what we want. Our friend Bruce Gay told Bruce Flett about their awesome appearance in the Ruston Peach Fest parade. I've signed a contract for $700 (they're an 8-piece band). To help cinch the deal, Matthew Linn, founder of the Krewe of Highland and proprietor of Columbia Cafe, will feed the band complimentary grits & grillades & coffee before the parade.

* Krewe members are invited to Columbia Cafe to do a Ch 3 live shot w Rick Rowe on Wed, Feb 14. Yes, that's Val's day. But Sonja Bailes asked me to do it and how can we gracefully say that we'd rather not spend the first 2 hours of Valentine's Day with the been-around-the-block Rick Rowe? You see my predicament. Sonja says, "The first camera segment hits at 5:15, the second at 5:45, the third at 6:15 and the last one at 6:45. We could probably have your musical group arrive around 5:20 a.m. to be in the second segment and then have you hang out with us until the last segment. You'll be 'cut free' by 6:50 a.m. or so, since I know you have to go to work." Red & Black leader Daryl Williams and a couple of his musicians may be able to make the drive from Grambling to appear with us.

* An update on all the memberships (we're calling members "sponsors") will be presented Sat.

* Now that we've got the band - but won't have a photo of them til Friday or so - I'm going to sell the stick out of memberships. We are going to have an enormous joyous noise on the street. There may be heart attacks in the audience from sheer joy & exhiliration and from surprise at hearing the real deal.

* My daughter, Annabel, coming up from Clear Lake, Tx, for the parade, will shoot video. Hope we have several people shooting. This, my friends, is a historic event.

Please enjoy watching Jerry Davenport second line at Artspace.


YouTube / video documentation: suggestion from Ernie Roberson

Ernie Roberson, Caddo Registrar of Voters as well as participant in the Krewe of Highland parade, writes to Blanc et Noir: "1. Any plans to video the Marching Society for use on There is a youtube of last year's Highland Parade andit is pretty interesting. I think the debut of the Blanc et Noir needs preservation.

2. I put in a plug for Highland Parade and the marching society's debut on my blog on ebay. Search under my seller name, vuky14 and then, My World, is home to the blog. Look under 5000 and 100%. It is utterly amazing to me how many people read blogs and comment. I read yours daily.

Why do I think youtube is a good idea for Blanc et Noir? I will be lining up near Byrd when the society starts its second line. I will NOT get to see it unless you youtube it!

Krewe of LSU truck- the nomads of North Louisiana Mardi Gras season- we'll tempt you with hot dogs and Moon pies before the parade if you guys wander that way. Look for the tigger on top of the truck."

Ernie Roberson

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Earl Salley second lines at SciPort with a scrub board

Earl Salley
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Zydeco music has become part of carnival in Louisiana.

There are two styles of Mardi Gras: the tableau ball & float parade mode of New Orleans, and the poor man's Courir de Mardi Gras - running of the men on horseback - of the countryside.

Zydeco comes from the country. For decades zydeco was little known in the Crescent City. It was in demand in the Creole towns along the Gulf rim: Lafayette, Lake Charles, Beaumont and Houston. Today the Zydeco bands travel a worldwide festival and club circuit.

You're culturally sensitive if you said, "Wait a minute; why is a zydeco performer leading a jazz second line?" In this era we mix it all together: R&B, Jazz, C&W, Zydeco, Cajun. Is there anything to be gained in entertainment if we are purists?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Tubbs Hardware & Cajun Gifts: essential Carnival CD's

Tubbs Hardware & Cajun Gifts
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Of all the local Mardi Gras shops my favorite is the surprisingly cornucopian Tubbs Hardware & Cajun Gifts. The high-energy Don Tubbs has beads, fringe, flags, books and umbrellas. He's got from doubloons to Venetian masks. The doubloons are $100 for 120 dozen, I believe, and B & N ought to take a look at sharing such a package. The spooky, historic Venetian masks are $10 to $20. Tubbs basically has it all.

How can you work on your costume without grooving on the classic Crescent City cuts? Nah. Put on the RnB and the jazz and you're halfway to the street.

Tubbs is the right place to add to your Carnival music collection. Why order the discs online when you can shop amidst a world of Mardi Gras madness? Somehow his music supplier and I agree almost entirely on what's essential. You cannot go wrong with anything from his modest rack of rock, zydeco and jazz.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Paint your mask: Blanc et Noir

Blanc et Noir
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Venice or Rome; these are the closest urbs to the seat of the Roman church and thus were among the first communities to implement the festive reaction to the church's promulgation of the abstinential season of Lent.

Of course, Only a few hundred years prior to the church's advent there were the Roman feasts of Saturnalia and Lupercalia. Also, there was the Jewish festival of Purim. It has distinct connections to carnivalities.

But Alexander Orloff says, in his terrific Carnival, Myth and Cult (an Austrian book) that we can find the mid-winter masked fetes in Africa and even Mesopotamia.

Carnival fun is universal; it's catholic in both senses. So it's no wonder that even Protestant North Louisiana now observes carnival.

Feb. 3 at Artspace: B & N Costume Workshop!
Please see below.

B & N Costume workshop at Artspace, 710 Texas, Sat, Feb 3, 11 to 2

...but not a drop to drink.
Originally uploaded by TableTopics.

Costume Workshop: Sat, Feb 3, at Artspace - 673-6535 - between 11 and 2 pm. Please bring your own materials, coffee, and lunch. We'll have carnival music and a 1 pm Q and A with Capitaine Trudeau and le Roi, Jerry, and la Dame, Tarama Davenport.

Blanc et Noir members must costume and - somehow - mask.

It's a minimum requirement. But it is in keeping with the Carnival traditions we strive to honor.

Costuming is part of the show that we offer to the public. They want to see something stimulating. We want to entertain. We bring the sense of pageantry, of uninhibitedness, that is shown by wearing a costume.

The hordes are dressed in jeans and motley caps and think that a mass of beads around their necks equals being in the Carnival spirit. Ha. If they could only visit a Caribbean island and feast upon the masked and becostumed masses.

Carnival offers people a time to let go, to de-stress, to act out, through changing one's identity.The traditional theme is that of opposites. The old dress in diapers. The young don a wrinkled mask. A naughty girl dresses as a nun. A straight girl dresses as a hooker. A poor man becomes a King. A wealthy man dresses as a pauper. A sober man costumes as a jester. A joker gets up as an FBI agent. A fellow dresses like a lady. A girl costumes as a guy.

Carnival offers a liberating challenge for everyone. It says "Dare to become someone different for a few hours."

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Chuck Reid, Krewe of Highland king: K of H Bal Masque is Fri, Feb 16

Krewe of Highland Masque Ball

Randal T. Moore Senior Citizen Center
Friday February 16, 2007
3101 Fairfield Ave

Dress is formal attire or costume with masked identity required. 318-869-4897 opr 219-3763.

Cyndie & Chuck Reid, Krewe of Highland: "delighted and excited to add Blanc et Noir to the Highland parade!"

Cyndie & Chuck Reid, leaders of the Krewe of Highland '07 told us that they are "delighted and excited to add Blanc et Noir Marching Society to the Highland parade!" They were in attendance at the Krewe of Sobek ball.

While Chuck is King of the K of H, a great deal of the responsibility of the parade traditionally falls to the krewe captain. In New Orleans the captain is strictly masked, often on horseback, and is the principal krewe authority figure. In Cajun country the capitaine is the leader of the carnival gang.

In the B & N I hope you won't mind me appointing myself first captain. That leaves the position of the King & Queen of the K of H open. Me, I nominate co-founders Jerry & Tarama Davenport as the royalty. Let me hear from you if you have other suggestions. It's

Here's a Times listing of the area krewe captains:
Mardi Gras '07: Meet the krewe captains
Dec 31, 2006

KREWE OF AESCLEPIUS: Jim Thomas, of Shreveport, is a claims representative for United Fire Group. He is secretary this year and vice president-elect for Northwest Louisiana Claims Association and a member of the Louisiana Claims Association. He has been a krewe member since it started and has worked on collarpiece and float construction each season.

KREWE OF AKEWA: Renee Rayner, along with husband Ernie Rayner, is owner and operator of Dorcheat Disposal Service, Minden. A native of Minden and reared in Shreveport-Bossier City area, she is the krewe founder.

KREWE DES AMBASSADEURS: Vickie Cullen, of Haughton, is director of human resources for Fibrebond Corp. She has served in various posts with the Minden South Webster Chamber of Commerce and was board chairwoman in 1994. She reigned as Ambassadeurs queen in 2004.

MYSTIC KREWE OF APOLLO SHREVEPORT: R. Gust Bridges is also king of Apollo. He holds business related rental property in Mansfield, has been president of the Mansfield Jaycees and was a director of the Junior Miss Pageant in DeSoto Parish while in the Jaycees. He has judged many Junior Miss and other pageants. He has been on the DeSoto Parish Hospital Board and was youth director and youth choir director of First Methodist Church in Mansfield.

KREWE OF ARTEMIS-SPRINGHILL: Eric Simmons is owner of Eric's Cleaners and Laundry and operational manager of Lewis Funeral Home. He is a professional rodeo announcer and a member of the Springhill-North Webster Chamber of Commerce.

KREWE OF BARKUS AND MEOUX: E. Scott Douget is a graduate of Northwestern State University, a member of Delta Zeta Alumnae and St. John's Cooking Crew.

KREWE OF CENTAUR: Deon Behr-man is employed by Lyons Commercial Properties. He joined the krewe in 1994 and was King Centaur VI. He has served as a Centaur board member and volunteered for many jobs for a total of six years and been captain for two.

KREWE OF DIONYSOS: Tony Gustwick, of Natchitoches, retired in June 2005 as an executive director of Northwestern State University. The National Service Fraternity has awarded him the "Distinguished Service Award." He serves on the board of directors of the Association of the U.S. Army and has been on numerous boards of directors. He is a member of the Masonic Lodge and is a Shriner. He is a charter member of Dionysos and volunteered as a float lieutenant for many years.

KREWE OF ELDERS: Jeri Lancaster, of Haughton, is a seamstress. Bowling and dancing are her hobbies.

KREWE OF GEMINI: Brad Graff, a professional engineer, is president of Cothren Graff Smoak Engineering, Inc. He is a member of Shreveport Downtown Rotary and Council of Engineering Companies. He was Gemini's Duke of Louisiana in 2005 and has served as throw chairman and float lieutenant.

KREWE OF HARAMBEE: Lynn Braggs is owner of Decimal Inc.

KREWE OF HARAMBEE KIDS: Teen Captain Shaylen Braggs.

KREWE OF HIGHLAND: Cyndie Reid is a past board member of Elks Lodge 122 Ladies Auxiliary and Elks Lodge 122 Swim Team. She is a charter member of the krewe.

KREWE OF JUSTINIAN: Deryl Medlin is a managing member of McMichael, Medlin, D'Anna & Wedgeworth, L.L.C. Attorneys. He is involved in a numerous organizations. Among them: former member and treasurer of the Board of Trustees Shreveport Bar Foundation; member, board of directors Downtown Shreveport Development Corp., where he served as treasurer; former president of South Highlands Foundation; and Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He has received the Louisiana Start Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award and the Shreveport Bar Association Pro Bono Project Outstanding Service Award. He was Justinian duke in 2003.

KREWE DE LES FEMMES MYSTIQUE: Bernie Bitting is North Louisiana director of March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation and has been president of the Ark-La-Tex Mardi Gras Museum Foundation Board. She received the Bossier Chamber of Commerce Athena Award in 2005 and several national awards with the March of Dimes.

KREWE OF SOBEK: Carl A. Pierson Sr. is retired from the Caddo Parish School System. He is a Caddo commissioner and is involved in various community a activities. He is serving his second year as krewe captain.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

New Orleans' skeletons krewe has given me ideas about a gang within Blanc et Noir

skeletons krewe
Originally uploaded by skeletonkrewe.
Here'a story from New Orleans' Gambit Weekly on marching with the Skeleton Krewe. Inspiring tale of costume making and trekking cross the city.

1) We need doubloons to bestow upon our favorites. Unlike beads they don't take much space. Anyone know where we can get our own doubloons made?

2) We need a group of marchers who will costume as the B & N's Skeleton Crewe.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Matthew Linn, of Krewe of Highland & Columbia Cafe, says the City of Spt has approved our marching plan

Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Matthew Linn is both proprietor of Columbia Cafe and founder of the Krewe of Highland. When I announced the formation of Blanc et Noir, he immediately offered: "Robert: you can parade with the Krewe of Highland and not have to worry about insurance or police expenses." I was very, very happy to have his help.

Today, Jan 9, he reported that the City of Spt Mardi Gras Task Force has approved our plans.

Here are the details:

* No police escort for B & N needed because we have no motorized vehicle.

* We will arrange for a help vehicle to be placed early in the K of H parade in case a marcher sprains a foot or dislocates a sacroiliac.

* B & N will start our march at Columbia Cafe at 1:45. Please be there no later than 1:44. The K of H parade will roll at 2 pm.

* The rhythm of the K of H, says Matthew, is "Go about 4 blocks, then stop. Goes another 4 blocks, then stops. Go another 4 blocks before tarrying again. Etc, etc." Therefore B & N can stop for drinks and show-off whenever we please.

* Police will barricade the east-west streets early; probably about 1 pm. They will actually close King's Hwy as the parade nears its end.

* K of H parade route:
- North on Creswell all the way to Herndon.
- Right on Herndon. Go east. - Right on Highland, south to Olive.
- Olive St east to Centenary Blvd.
- Centenary Blvd south past Centenary College
- across King's Hwy. Centenary becomes Gladstone
- past the Joyce house as Gladstone curves and intersects Gilbert.

* Fete de Highland festival takes place in Columbia Park following the parade. B & N will be expected (yet not mandatory) to visit the fest.There, people will ask us questions about how to join the krewe, etc. BTW, Bruce Flett and band, A Train, are the Fete entertainers.
- B & N should have an info card to give out.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Planning B & N's first parade: Tarama & Jerry Davenport, DannyZeringue, Sheri Underwood

Possibilities! The krewe seemed to enjoy the give-and-take over costumes, music, marching & rest breaks and the meaning of life.

A costume construction party is being planned by Tarama and Lois. Tentatively it will be at Artspace, 710 Texas. Stay tuned for definite word.

Photos by B & N's supportive and enthusiastic artist Talbot Hopkins.

Jerry Davenport, Robert Trudeau: Blanc et Noir marching Society,Shreveport

The catalyst for B & N was the Faces of Katrina exhibit at Artspace. The kids' activities were written by Trudeau and largely taught by Jerry & Tarama Davenport.

In the course of the collaboration Jerry and Robert discovered their mutual love of New Orleans & jazz & dance - Jerry and Tarama can really cut a rug, I'm told - and background in the second line. The rest is being born as we read.

New member: Robbie Middleton

Robbie Middleton
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Robbie appears to be enjoying Brother's gumbo. I ordered a catfish filet and it was delish. Piping hot, tender, nice batter, adequate fries. Also, we had prompt and courteous service. The visual aspect of the restaurant and the vibe was redolent of the Crescent City.

Lois McFarland, Blanc et Noir's new secretary

Lois McFarland, Blanc et Noir
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
If you get a reminder call about a B & N event, Lois is the person who will be on the phone. I deeply appreciate her help. If you missed the meeting at Brother's, not to worry. Drop your contact info to and post your $25 to Robert Trudeau, 912 Monrovia St, 71106.

Charter supporter of B & N: Sheri Underwood

Sheri Underwood
Originally uploaded by trudeau.

B & N is growing surely but those present at the first meet will always be appreciated as charter members.

Watching the brass band go by: Jake & Bruce Flett

Jake & Bruce Flett
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Musician Bruce Flett - A Train, the Bluebirds, etc - is a charter mover of B & N.

He's quite a writer, too, as demonstrated at
His mailing list emails are delightfully entertaining.

Tarama Davenport, Panderina Soumas

Please see Panderina's background, spiel and cookbook at

Lovely vibe in the Red River Entertainment District outside ofBrother's Seafood

Jerry, Robert, Lois, Tarama
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
We're auditioning musicians; I schlepped a TV and VCR to Brother's to view a tape of Danny Zeringue's brass band, Struttin' South.

Quite enjoyed getting acquainted with Monsieur Zeringue, orginally from Thibodaux and still a Coonass after years in Shreveport.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Peeking Out of Claude, the Louisiana crawfish: MardiGrasMuseum

Louisiana boiled crawfish
Originally uploaded by trudeau.

Says Nikki Neal, of the SBCTB, "The convention and tourist bureau is planning our annual Claude the Cajun Crawfish media event to take place 11 a.m., Feb. 1 at the Ark-La-Tex Mardi Gras Museum.

Every year, Claude predicts our party weather for the Mardi Gras season. (Just like Punxsutawney Phil, only better!) We were wondering if your new marching society would like to be involved in any way.

This event is usually well attended by the media and is an opportunity for us to share information with them about our area Mardi Gras happenings. Plus, it is just a fun way to kick-off the Mardi Gras festivities. In addition to the news portion of our event, we will have some sort of entertainment and food.

We would love to have the members of your society there as friends of Claude and fellow Mardi Gras revelers. Please let me know if you would be interested."

RT: Please email if you can be there.

Neal added, "Also, we are searching for a new voice for Claude to use in a regional radio promotion we are working on. We need somebody that can speak with a Cajun accent."

Nikki Neal
Film and Communications Coordinator
Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Don Tubbs sells How To Mardi Gras - and everything else under the Carnival sun

Italian masks? Extreme King Cakes? Tubbs Cajun Gifts was a Mardi Gras emporium before most people knew that Mardi Gras had been made legal.

Don Tubbs, on Benton Road across from the Bossier Civic Theater, combines a world of cool hardware items with a Carnival cornucopia.

He's got zydeco, jazz and cajun CD's, umbrellas in every size, baubles & bangles, mantles & dolls, and he sells the heck out of my 36-page guide, How To Mardi Gras.

The most comprehensive guide to Louisiana's Carnival season: How To Mardi Gras

36 pages, 36 illustrations, this guide's cool for students, adults, anyone who needs a quick study on the seasonal madness.

Order copies from the publisher - $5 each - at 318-861-6809.

Costumes, krewes, music, history, lore: it's all here. Hey, ya'll: laisser les bon temps rouler.

Monday, January 01, 2007

From Twelfth Night to midnight on Mardi Gras: Shreveport Times' carnival Shreveport events 07

Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Mardi Gras '07: Schedule of events in northwest Louisiana

When: 9 a.m. Saturday.
Where: St. Pius X Church, 4300 N. Market St., Shreveport.
Dress: Mardi Gras festive.
Admission: free.
Special note: King Cake and coffee will be served after Mass.
RSVP: Call Jean Nixon or Shirley Manis, 221-8662.

When: 7 p.m. to midnight Saturday, 8 p.m., presentation of royalty.
Site: Bossier Civic Center, 620 Benton Road, Bossier City.
Band: Walker Street Band.
Dress: Mardi Gras casual; costumes encouraged.
Hosts: krewes of Centaur and Gemini.
Admission: $25 in advance, available at Porter's, 518 Benton Road, Bossier City, and Portico Shopping Center, Shreveport; $30, at the door. Open bar.
Information: Linda Sinitiere, 518-1853.

When: 7 p.m. to midnight.
Site: Knights of Columbus, 1105 E. 5th St., Natchitoches.
Dress: Mardi Gras casual.
Admission: $25, members, $30, guests, at the door.

When: 7 p.m. to midnight Jan. 12. Schedule: 6:45 p.m., doors open; 8 p.m., tableau starts.
Site: Riverview Hall, 450 Cyde Fant Memorial Parkway, Shreveport.
Theme: "All That Jazz."
Dress: formal.
To eat: New Orleans-style buffet, cash bar.
Admission: $50, with purchase before Jan. 10, or buy at the door.
Information: Thyjuan Jamison, 747-8004.

When: 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Jan. 13. Schedule; 7:30 p.m., tableau starts
Site: New Shreveport Convention Center, 400 Caddo St., Shreveport.
Theme: "A Royal Affair."
Dress: black tie. Black or white formal attire requested.
Band: 8-Track.
To eat: 6 to 7:30 p.m., buffet dinner, with a $20-a-person ticket to be purchased when you order the ball ticket.
Admission: $75 to order or available at the door.
Information: (318) 455-1876.

When: 6:30 p.m. Jan. 13.
Site: Springhill Civic Center, 101 Machen Drive, Springhill.
Theme: "Take 5 ... And All That Jazz."
Dress: formal.
To eat: heavy hors d'oeuvres; bring your own bottle, soft drinks provided.
Entertainment: Cross Roads.
Admission: $35. Advance reservations only.
Information: (318) 539-5951.

When: 1 p.m. Jan. 13
Site: Queensborough neighborhood. Starts and ends at Louisiana State Fair Grounds.
Special note: $35 entry fee per group/organization.
Information: Tarmara Flentroy, 635-5686 or 426-8081, or Fred Moss IV, 470-3890.

When: 11:30 a.m., with tableau at 1 p.m. Jan. 14.
Site: Sam's Town Casino & Hotel, 315 Clyde Fant Memorial Parkway, Shreveport.
Dress: cocktail.
To eat: hors d'oeuvres, cash bar.
Music: The Saxy Guys Saxophone Quartet.
Admission: $35.
Reservations: May be made online,, with a $2 service fee per person, or mail check to Krewe of Barkus & Meoux, P.O. Box 52047, Shreveport, LA 74135.
Information: Cheryl Rockwell, 868-7842.

When: 8 to 9:30 a.m. Jan. 15.
Site: University Club, 401 Market St., Shreveport.
Presented by: Krewe of Harambee.
Keynote speaker: Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover.
Admission: $10.
Tickets: Call in advance for only a limited number will be available at the door.
Information: Derrick Henderson, 572-6337.

When: 2 p.m. Jan. 15.
Grand marshal: Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover.
Featured group: Southern University Marching Band.
Site: 705 Elvis Presley Ave./Municipal Auditorium.
Parade route: Elvis Presley Avenue to Milam; Milam to Edwards; Edwards to Texas; Texas back to Elvis Presley.
Theme: "Tribute to Black Hollywood."
Information/parade applications: Derrick Henderson, 572-6337.

When: 7 p.m., doors open; 8:30 p.m., tableau Jan. 19.
Site: Roper's Night Life at Ramada Inn, 4000 Industrial Drive, Bossier City.
Theme: "Goddesses Gone Wild."
Dress: black tie.
To eat: dinner buffet, cash bar.
Band: Hunt Powell & the Gnarly Brothers.
Admission: $50. Reservations must be made by Friday.
Information: Renee Rayner, (318) 377-4450, or; Lenny Sullivan, (318) 377-4938, or

When: 7 p.m. to midnight Jan. 20.
Site: Municipal Auditorium, 705 Elvis Presley Ave., Shreveport.
Theme: "Apollo Salutes Louisiana Tradition."
Dress: black tie.
To eat: hors d'eouvres, cash bar.
Admission: by invitation only.
Information: (318) 461-0596.

When: 7 p.m., with tableau at 8 p.m. Jan. 20.
Site: Bossier Civic Center, 620 Benton Road, Bossier City.
Theme: "Fly Aesclepius: Your Ticket to Paradise."
Dress: formal.
Band: The Groove Agents.
Special note: There will be a cash bar.
Admission: $50. Call ahead or buy at the door.
Information: Aesclepius captain Jim Thomas, 222-8054 or 469-8732.

When: 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Jan. 26.
Site: Diamond Jacks Casino & Resort, Bossier City.
Theme: "Carnival of Venice "" Masquerade Bal."
Dress: black tie with mask a must.
Band: Ambush.
To eat: heavy hors d'oeuvres, cash bar.
Admission: $60.
Information: Vickie Cullen, 949-1048 or 218-0174.

When: 7 p.m., doors open, and 8 p.m., tableau starts Jan. 27.
Site: Bossier Civic Center, 620 Benton Road, Bossier City.
Theme: "World Celebrations."
Dress: black tie.
Entertainment: The Tip Tops.
Admission: $65. Deadline for reserved seating is Jan. 8.
Information: 869-0202.

When: Feb. 2. Schedule: 7 p.m., doors open; 8 p.m., royalty presentation; 10:30 p.m., closing of the silent auction; 10:30 to 11:30 p.m., breakfast served.
Site: Shreveport Convention Center, 400 Caddo St., Shreveport.
Theme: "Hawaiian Paradise."
To eat: breakfast. Complementary cocktails served initially, then cash bar.
Sponsor: Shreveport Bar Association.
Band: The Pictures Band of Austin, Texas.
Silent auction: The "Elaborate Silent Auction" is part of the evening festivities. Proceeds go to fund SBA projects and charitable activities.
Chairwoman: Alison Byrd.
Admission: free, Justinian members and a spouse or date; guest tickets, $70 in advance or $80 at the door
Information: Patti Guin, 222-3643, or e-mail; or Deryl Medlin, 221-1004 or

When: 7 p.m., doors open; 8 p.m., royalty presentation Feb. 2.
Site: Diamond Jack's Casino & Hotel, Bossier City.
Theme: "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall."
Dress: black tie.
Band: Wonderdogs.
To eat: heavy hors d'oeuvres, cash bar.
Admission: $45.
Information: Dorothy Carnal, 965-1840, 422-7997 or 219-4026; or Bernie Bitting, 868-5910, 422-5910 or 869-0400.

When: 6:30 p.m., doors open; 8:30 p.m., tableau Feb. 3.
Site: Elks Lodge, 310 Preston St., Shreveport.
Theme: "A Stroll Down Memory Lane."
Dress: formal.
To eat: buffet, cash bar.
Admission: $35, with reservations due by Jan. 15, or $40 at the door.
Reservations: Mail checks to P.O. Box 6484, Bossier City, LA 71171.
Information: 949-9267 or 820-0039.

When: 7 p.m. to midnight Feb. 3.
Site: Natchitoches Events Center, 750 Second St., Natchitoches.
Dress: black tie.
Admission: $65 for guests.
Information: Pam Frame, (318) 352-6520.

When: 5 p.m. Feb. 3.
Site: downtown Minden.
Admission: free.

When: 1 p.m. Feb. 3.
Route: begins at The Mall, South Main Street, north to the City Park and returns down First Street to The Mall.
Theme: "Take 5 ... And All That Jazz," featuring Krewe of Artemis-Springhill.
Special note: Anyone may enter.
Admission: free.
Information: To enter the parade, call (318) 539-5699 before Feb. 1.

When: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 3.
Site: Woman's Department Club, 802 Margaret Place, Shreveport.
Special guests: Local krewe kings and queens will be featured in a brunchparade with throws.
Entertainment: Timeless Tunes.
Brunch menu: scrambled egg casserole, curried baked fruit, cheese grits, biscuits, bread pudding with whiskey sauce, King Cake, mimosas.
Dress: colorful costume.
Chairwoman: Dot Cady.
Admission: $25, with reservations due by Jan. 30.
Information: 222-4186

When: 4:30 p.m. Feb. 10.
Route: starts at Clyde Fant Memorial Parkway downtown to Shreveport-Barksdale Highway to East Kings Highway and ends at Preston Ave., Shreveport.
Theme: "Centaur Comics."

When: 7:30 to 11 p.m. Feb. 15.
Site: Sam's Town Casino & Hotel Magnolia Ballroom, 315 Clyde Fant Parkway.
Theme: "Arepo's Grand Carousel."
Benefits: Shreveport Opera.
To eat: New Orleans-style buffet, open bar.
Entertainment: A tableau featuring royalty in full costumes from all Ark-La-Tex krewes; "Mardi-Gras-Round" of songs from Broadway, including "Musical Carousel" presented by Shreveport Opera Express; crowning of the 2007 Arepo king and queen during the tableau; live music during dinner and dancing after the tableau.
Sponsors: Sam's Town and Shreveport Opera.
Admission: $100, individual, or $1,000, reserved tables of 10.
Information: Shreveport Opera, 227-9503.

When: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16.
Site: Randle T. Moore Center, 3101 Fairfield Ave.
Theme: "We're in the Movies."
Dress: formal or costume, with mask required.
Band: The Tip Tops.
To eat: hors d'oeuvres, cash bar.
Admission: $35.
Information: 869-4897, 518-6042 or 272-0166.

When: 5:30 p.m. Feb. 16.
Site: Gemini Float Den, 2101 E. Texas St., Bossier City.
To eat: food and beverages will be for sale.
Dress: casual.
Special note: Attendees get a close up look at Gemini's parade floats.
Admission: free.

When: 7 p.m., doors open; 8 p.m., royalty presentation Feb. 17.
Site: Horseshoe Riverdome, Bossier City.
Theme: "Tribute to Black Hollywood."
Dress: black tie.
Entertainment: Jazz recording artist Michael Ward and Grambling State University Troupe known as "The Orchesis."
Admission: $45
Information: 424-7158.

When: 4:30 p.m. Feb. 17.
Site: starts on Clyde Fant Memorial Parkway near Lake Street to Shreveport-Barksdale Highway to East Kings Highway, finishing at Preston Avenue, Shreveport.
Theme: "World Celebrations."
Admission: free.

When: 5:30 p.m. Feb. 17, Natchitoches.
Site: South Drive to Keyser Avenue, left to Washington Street, right on Jefferson to Front Street to Washington Street. Left on Second Street to Church Street. Left on Church Street to Church Street Bridge, where the parade ends.
Admission: free.
When: After the parade to midnight Feb. 17.
Site: Dionysos Den, 126 St. Denis, Natchitoches.
Dress: Mardi Gras casual.
Admission: $15, members; $20, guests.
Information: Cheryl Calvert, (318) 352-2373, or (318)471-9494.

When: 2 p.m. Feb. 18.
Site: Highland neighborhood, with Carnival de Columbia held afterward at Columbia Park.
Grand marshal: Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover.
Admission: free.

When: 6:30 p.m. Feb. 20.
Site: Louisiana Boardwalk, Bossier City.
Parade note: especially recognized as a parade for families with small children. Members of the court ride in floats and convertibles.
Special note: A Mardi Gras Festival After Party will be held for all krewes and the public immediately after the parade.
Admission: No charge for the parade and no charge scheduled at this time for the after party.
Information: Jim Thomas, 222-8054. Also contact him if you want to put a float in the parade.

When: 11:30 p.m. to midnight Feb. 20.
Site: middle of Texas Street bridge.
Special note: One float from Aesclepius will be in center of the bridge and a float from Centaur and Gemini will be on each side of it. Area captains take turns toasting and the final toasts will be given by the Aesclepius king, queen and captain. At midnight, there will be a brief Lenten ash service, with ashes dispensed to all by a local Catholic and Protestant clergy.
Admission: free.

When: to be announced.
Site: to be announced.
Theme: "The Wiz."
Dress: black tie.
Music: DJ Phil.
Dance tribute by: Huntington High School Silver Treasures.
Admission: $15.
Information: Andria Sterling, 631-7502.

Shreveport Times / Maggie Martin on Blanc et Noir, Dec 31, 06

Mardi Gras '07: Marching group, youth krewe new to festivities
December 31, 2006

ORGANIZATION: Blanc et Noir Marching Society.
WHAT: a group that marches with a brass brand in Mardi Gras parades.
MEMBERSHIP: Open to the public.
DUES: $25.
FOUNDER: Robert Trudeau.
INFORMATION: 861-6809, or

ORGANIZATION: Krewe of Harambee for Kids.
MEMBERSHIP: Must be between ages of 8 and 18 and maintain a "C" average in school.
DUES: $25.
INFORMATION: Andria Sterling, 631-7502.

Related articles:
• Mardi Gras '07: Krewe of Artemis-Springhill royalty
• Mardi Gras '07: Krewe of Apollo royalty
• Mardi Gras '07: Krewe of Ambassadeurs royalty
• Mardi Gras '07: Krewe of Akewa royalty
• Mardi Gras '07: Krewe of Aesclepius royalty
• Mardi Gras '07: Krewe of Justinian royalty
• Mardi Gras '07: Krewe of Highland royalty
• Mardi Gras '07: Krewe of Harambee royalty
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By Maggie Martin

The horns will toot! The umbrellas will sway! The participants will dance!

So sound the whistle for the new Blanc et Noir Marching Society.

It premieres Feb. 18 at the Krewe of Highland Parade that struts its stuff in the Highland neighborhood, with new Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover serving as parade marshal.

With Blanc et Noir, Mardi Gras may never be the same.

Founder/Mardi Gras fan Robert Trudeau certainly hopes so.

Such groups, with a brass band, traditionally march in front of the regular Mardi Gras parades, getting people excited and roused up about the main event to come.

"We wind around the street and do a second-line dance. We might leave five or two minutes in advance of the parade," Trudeau said. "A lot of what we do is improvisation."

Also new for the 2007 Mardi Gras season is announcement of a new krewe.

Krewe of Harambee Kids was founded by the children of the Krewe of Harambee, under the auspices of Harambee.

"The goal is to increase minority participation of children during Mardi Gras season while providing community service and aid to children with special needs" said spokesperson Jocelyn R. Clark.

The group has two parts. Captain I Shaylen Braggs heads up the teens and Chieftain I Christopher L. Braggs is in charge of youth. Each has a court of six. Although the date has not been announced, the krewe will be presented in March after the regular Mardi Gras season.

So, lots of action as a new Mardi Gras season starts to roll Saturday at the annual Twelfth Night Party at Bossier Civic Center, Bossier City.

Mardi Gras fans can root for Blanc et Noir when the Highland Parade gears up at Columbia Cafe and meanders through the Highland neighborhood.

Loosely, that means, up and down Creswell, in and around Highland, down Herndon and Olive, past Centenary College, ending up eventually at Columbia Park where there is live music before and after the parade.

Capping off the day at the park "" Carnival de Columbia.

Highland krewe founder Matthew Linn, owner of Columbia Cafe, thinks the society will fit into the groove of Highland's parade.

"We are fun and off-center. We are not your stereotypical marching or truck parade," Linn said.

Like the Highland parade marchers, society members are not absolutely committed to the four-mile parade.

"You can do one mile and drop out. You can start up and stop when you meet up with your friends," Trudeau said. (Linn said those who sign up for Highland can come in at side roads or start or stop as they want.)

Trudeau says you never know what a good line dance is until you get the crowd involved. "It is magical," he said.

Blanc et Noir signed up with Highland when Linn told him the group could piggyback with the krewe's insurance.

"He came to our meeting and he recognized the idea was important to the continued development of the local celebration," said Trudeau.

Trudeau hopes this is the beginning of the growth of marching societies locally.

They are more inexpensive than traditional parades, he said. "You don't need to pay for a float. It is a lower investment," he said. "We would welcome other marching societies."

Anyone can join Blanc et Noir.

Admission is $25 and the money goes mainly to pay the brass band they will hire and the banner to identify the group.

Costumes can be anything, even a tux.

Artist Tamara Davenport and musician Bruce Flett are among those who already have joined.

Flett, a member of the popular Bluebirds, is intrigued by the history of the marching societies that go back at least 100 years.

"Fun is the main reason I am doing it, although I always go to the Highland parade with my kids," said Flett, an electric bass player who will be blowing on a trombone for this gig.

Davenport, a veteran at local Mardi Gras events, is looking forward to the camaraderie as much as anything.

"We don't have marching societies here like they do in New Orleans. ... I am looking forward to it," she said.

She is not sure what she will wear, but she will definitely have an umbrella to lead the way.

One of Trudeau's earliest New Orleans Mardi Gras memories revolves around pre-parade events.

"People came and the brass band played. They were flexible in their activities," Trudeau said.

He wants to bring that merriment to Shreveport-Bossier City with Blanc et Noir.

He wants the good times to roll.

12th Night begins Carnival season in New Orleans and all Louisiana; come to 12th Night lunch with Blanc et Noir

Costuming and dancing begins on January 6th in New Orleans, says It's known as Twelfth Night, or the Feast of the Epiphany, or "little Christmas." In the Crescent City It begins with the ball of the krewe known as The Twelfth Night Revellers, and with the Streetcar Ride (party) of the equally historic krewe of the Phunny Phorty Phellows. This is the official start of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Carnival revelers begin to serve the King Cake on Twelfth Night. The recipient of the slice containing the baby (or bean, or coin) is expected to provide the cake for the following day. The cake tradition can be traced to the Middle Ages, says Nola Live.

In Tudor England, says, the Twelfth Night marked the end of a winter festival that started on All Hallows Eve. A King or Lord of Misrule would be appointed to run the Christmas festivities, and the Twelfth Night was the end of his period of rule. The common theme was that the normal order of things was reversed.

This Lord of Misrule tradition can be traced back to pre-Christian European festivals such as the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia.

Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night, or What You Will was written to be performed as a Twelfth Night entertainment and first performed at Middle Temple Hall, London, 1602. The play has many elements that fit Louisiana's carnival tradition, such as Viola dressing as a man, and a servant, Malvolio, imagining himself a nobleman.

The Feast of the Epiphany is a Christian celebration noting the manifestation of the divine nature of Jesus to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi.

Blanc et Noir Marching Society lunch:
1 pm
Brother's Seafood

Please respond if you're coming to the Dutch treat lunch via