As discussions between the City of Shreveport and the area's two largest Mardi Gras Krewes, Centaur and Gemini, continue, the schedule of the pre-Lenten celebrations across the ArkLaTex hasn't changed.

The Facts

As previously reported on KEEL, meetings between Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins and Krewe leaders are at an impasse, as Perkins is holding firm to his position that the city is unable to pick up the cost of security and cleanup for the two biggest parades, something that has historically been done.

Meanwhile, spokesmen for the Krewes. specifically Centaur, insist that because the Mardi Gras organizations are non-profit, they, too, are unable to pay.

In addition, at Perkins urging, leaders from both groups recently met with Bossier City Mayor Tommy Chandler about the possibility of moving the parades to the east side of the Red, but those discussions also ended without a deal being reached.

Latest from the Mayor

Wednesday afternoon, the Shreveport Mayor released a statement summing up the current state of the talks:

"Thank you for being members of the Krewe and for all you’ve contributed to our City over the years. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of misinformation being spread, including the City levying a $100,000 charge on your Krewe. This is simply not true. In fact, no final determination has been made concerning changes in costs to any of the Krewes.
As you are aware, the City of Shreveport is one of multiple public entities (School Board, Sheriff, Parish, Tourism Bureau, Bossier City, etc.) that benefit from the Mardi Gras parades. Historically, however, the City has covered the bill for all costs associated with the parades. In an effort to make things more equitable, we are diligently working with each Krewe to reach a resolution concerning cost sharing that will be advantageous to all parties.
Additionally, the City is striving to be more fair and provide all Krewes with similar benefits. This has not happened in the past. We look forward to resolving these issues as soon as possible, because I too am looking forward to having a great Mardi Gras season."

The Numbers

Mardi Gras events for 2021 were cancelled because of the COVID pandemic. Centaur and Gemini, the region's two largest parades, regularly attract crowds of 100,000 or more and it is estimated that upwards of a 250,000 attend all the parades. The seasonal events in the Shreveport - Bossier City area have an economic impact of more than $12 million annually.

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