The streets of Natchitoches were lined by thousands of area residents and visitors who came to be a part of what has rapidly become one of the most enjoyable events in our city, the Krewe of Dionysos Mardi Gras parade on February 22. The parade, a fixture of Natchitoches life for over 20 years, featured the Krewe of Dionysos and the Krewe of Excellence with their signature “Soul Train”. The Red River High School, Lakeview and Natchitoches Central Bands provided a non stop musical accompaniment to the festivities. The Shriners were also on hand with their colorful clown costumes and mini cars and were joined by area beauty queens and the Christmas Belles. Natchitoches Regional Medical Center’s Armadillo Mascot made his debut promoting the upcoming Steel Magnolias 5K Run. The Natchitoches Tribe of Louisiana joined other local groups in the parade. The Lakeview High School Air Force Junior ROTC Color Guard led the parade as it has done for the past several years.
This year’s parade had some special guests. The Southern Conference of the College Band Directors National Association was holding its 2020 conference in Natchitoches and was hosting a meeting at the Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest History Museum building. They had a perfect viewing spot for the parade in front of the museum.
The krewe members on the colorfully decorated floats drew from a seemingly endless supply of beads and trinkets for the delighted crowd. Mardi Gras parades are one of the things that makes life in Louisiana so special. Natchitoches’ parade is a true delight for bead aficionados of all ages.