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Let the Good Times Roll



Get your Mardi Gras mask on and, in just over a six-hour drive, you can be in the heart of a whole different world! There’s a lot of Mardi Gras magic and loads of great food in Shreveport, Louisiana.


I love the “everybody welcome” atmosphere of the celebrations in the Shreveport-Bossier City area. The carnival season kicks off with the Twelfth Night party on January 5 and takes its last gasp on Fat Tuesday, February 12. That’s the day of the Krewe of Aesclepius Children’s Parade and, late that night, celebrants gather on the Texas Street Bridge over the Red River to toast the end of Mardi Gras.

Little participant at the Gemini float loading party; photo by Elaine Warner

Krewes (Mardi Gras organizations) promote the seasonal celebration with parades and parties. The biggest parades are organized by the Krewes of Centaur (February 2) and Gemini (February 9). The Krewe of Barkus and Meoux gives pets a chance to parade (February 3) in party finery.

Spectators line the parade routes – some camp out in advance with lawn chairs – but once the event starts, most are on their feet with hands in the air. The shouts of “Throw me something, mister!” echo up and down the pavement.

Visitors wanting closer contact go to the float-loading parties before the parades. Volunteers help hang the thousands of strands of beads that will be tossed to the crowds. The local priest blesses the floats, beer flows and a great time is had by all.

Fertitta’s famous muffy; photo courtesy Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist BureauThe Highland parade (February 10) is a neighborhood event in the historic Highlands area. I love the mix of participants – everything from kids on bicycles and walkers in funky costumes to giant professional floats. This is a real local gathering and you have a great chance of getting a bunch of good “throws.” They toss everything from beads and small toys to wrapped hot dogs complete with mustard packets.

The parades and float-loadings are free; other events have a charge. You can even go to one or more of the balls for the price of a ticket.

Tale of Two Chefies

It’s Louisiana, so you know you’re going to get some great grub, and two of Shreveport’s most inventive chefs – Boz Baucum and Michael O’Boyle –  have very different takes on food.

Robert “Boz” Baucum is owner-chef at Marilynn’s Place, a repurposed Texaco station. The classically trained Shreveport native was blown back home by Hurricane Katrina. His goal – to bring New Orleans cuisine to Shreveport.

His cool, casual restaurant is the place to go for po’ boys (from traditional to po’ boy burgers), jambalaya, gumbo, etouffée, bread pudding and beignets.

Boz’s February 10 blow-out bash is a tribute to his mom, Marilynn, and her love of Mardi Gras. He says, “Ours is a big, kid-friendly, parking-lot, Mardi Gras extravaganza. It starts as soon as folks catch the last string of beads at the Highland parade. We encourage them to head on over to Marilynn’s for crawfish, clowns, face-painting, bands and beer.” The party lasts all afternoon and into the evening when it finally winds down at 10pm.

Clockwise from top: Beignets and NOLA roast beef at Marilynn’s Place; Michael O’Boyle, owner of Gulf Pig Underground Dinner Club; Photos: Beignets by Elaine Warner; Michael O’Boyle by Casey Jones

Marilynn’s chef-owner Boz Baucum; Photo by Elaine Warner

Michael O’Boyle is the owner of the Gulf Pig Underground Dinner Club. Don’t look for his restaurant, though; you won’t find it. He hosts “secret” suppers in a variety of local restaurants, taking advantage of their kitchens on their nights off. About once a month, diners with reservations are directed to the location where they have no idea what they’ll be eating. But it’s guaranteed to be good – and unusual. Michael says, “I try to have one dish at every meal that pushes the envelope.”

The menu I sampled: a crabmeat profiterole; fried chicken liver on potato and popcorn puree topped with green tomato kimchee; corn and lemongrass soup with garlic, shallots, cilantro, grilled shrimp and enough cayenne pepper to wake up the palate; pork belly braised in Coca-Cola and bourbon on griddled cornbread topped with deep-fried collard greens; a frozen watermelon palate cleanser and ice cream with chocolate ganache and kumquat sauce for dessert.

Adventurous diners won’t regret the pre-planning needed to enjoy one of these underground dinners. Prices for the dinner hover around $55 with alcohol extra. What a deal!

While You’re Here…

Speaking of food, Fertitta’s muffy is a local food icon. Built by the Sicilian patriarch of the family, Fertitta’s started out as a grocery. In the ’60s, the neighborhood was changing and the Fertittas started adding sandwiches. The New Orleans-Sicilian muffaletta was a big winner. Sam Fertitta couldn’t afford enough neon for his sign to read “muffaletta” so he shortened the name to “muffy,” and it remains so today. The business, still in the family, is on the National Register of Historic Places.
 

 Fertitta’s Deli; Photo courtesy Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau

The Municipal Auditorium, a late ’20s Art Deco building, is also listed on the NRHP. It was here that the announcer for the “Louisiana Hayride” radio show told the audience, “…you’ve never heard this young man before, but one day you’ll be able to tell your children and grandchildren that you heard musical history made tonight.” Yep, Elvis was in the building. Tours include exhibits of country greats who appeared here and you can stand on the spot where Elvis stood.


Good to know

General information: shreveport-bossier.org

Marilynn’s Place: marilynns-place.com

Gulf Pig Underground Dinner Club: gulfpig.com


Other Attractions

Drive the film trail. Dozens of movies have been filmed in Shreveport. See the sites, and then check out the cool Robinson Film Center. Catch a movie or try the bistro for lunch or dinner.

Sci-Port Science Center. This hands-on science museum includes an IMAX theater and planetarium.

Try your luck at one of the riverside casinos.

Shop at the Louisiana Boardwalk on the Bossier City side of the river.

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Calendar

December 2018

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

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Cost: Free

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Cost: Free

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Telephone: 479.418.5700
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Cost: 12.50

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National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
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Grab your family and friends for an incredible performance and reimagining of the classic holiday story! Follow Carlos on his hip hop journey to self-discovery through magical lands filled with...

Cost: $20 presale; $25 at the door

Where:
OCCC
7777 S May
Oklahoma City, OK  73159
View map »


Sponsor: RACE Dance Company
Telephone: 405.410.4978
Contact Name: Hui Poos
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Grab your family and friends for an incredible performance and reimagining of the classic holiday story! Follow Carlos on his hip hop journey to self-discovery through magical lands filled with...

Cost: $20 presale; $25 at the door

Where:
OCCC
7777 S May
Oklahoma City, OK  73159
View map »


Sponsor: RACE Dance Company
Telephone: 405.410.4978
Contact Name: Hui Poos
Website »

More information

Elsa and Anna host this holiday spectacular full of Christmas magic - with a drop-in visit from the big man himself: Santa Claus! Featuring high-quality professional performers from Project...

Cost: $35

Where:
The Station at Central Park
700 S Broadway Avenue
Moore , OK  73160
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Sponsor: Project Princess
Telephone: 405.777.2411
Contact Name: Brooke Ashely
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You’re invited to hear Sandi Patty in a free concert for the whole family in the Crossings OKC Sanctuary. Sandi, her family and the Voices of Crossings Choir and Orchestra will share the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crossings Community Church - OKC Campus
14600 North Portland
Oklahoma City, OK  73134
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Sponsor: Crossings Community Church
Telephone: 405.302.1258
Contact Name: Lori Bunyar
Website »

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The American Spirit Dance Company Presents Home for the Holidays Thursday, December 6, 8:00 PM, Kirkpatrick Theatre Friday, December 7, 8:00 PM, Kirkpatrick Theatre Saturday, December 8,...

Cost: $18.85 - $29.85

Where:
Oklahoma City University
2501 N. Blackwelder
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: The American Spirit Dance Company
Telephone: 405.208.4955
Contact Name: Ryan Barrett
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The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is proud to host an exhibition by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA).   The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association...

Cost: 12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
Website »

More information

Don’t miss this timely exhibition charting the development of contemporary Indigenous art from the US and Canada. Presenting over 80 artworks including paintings, photography, video,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR  72712
View map »


Telephone: 479.418.5700
Website »

More information

Upcoming Casting Calls in Oklahoma City Location: Provided via email Send headshots, measurements, resume and preferred audition time to casting@princessparty.com We are seeking actors who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Provided via email
Provided via email
Oklahoma City, OK  73112
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Sponsor: The Princess Party Co.
Telephone: 616.426.6108
Contact Name: Skyler
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Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

Don’t miss this timely exhibition charting the development of contemporary Indigenous art from the US and Canada. Presenting over 80 artworks including paintings, photography, video,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR  72712
View map »


Telephone: 479.418.5700
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is proud to host an exhibition by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA).   The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association...

Cost: 12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

Don’t miss this timely exhibition charting the development of contemporary Indigenous art from the US and Canada. Presenting over 80 artworks including paintings, photography, video,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR  72712
View map »


Telephone: 479.418.5700
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is proud to host an exhibition by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA).   The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association...

Cost: 12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is proud to host an exhibition by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA).   The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association...

Cost: 12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
Website »

More information

Don’t miss this timely exhibition charting the development of contemporary Indigenous art from the US and Canada. Presenting over 80 artworks including paintings, photography, video,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR  72712
View map »


Telephone: 479.418.5700
Website »

More information

A pop-up shop village & Christmas tree lot in Midtown, OKC for the Holiday season. Shops rotate weekly!

Cost: Free

Where:
Holiday Pop-Up Shops
399 NW 10th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.514.5205
Contact Name: Cleo Rajon
Website »

More information

A Comedy by Michael Hollinger No menu necessary at the world's greatest restaurant, the Café du Grand Boeuf in Paris. Why? "Because we have everything," headwaiter...

Cost: $5 to $25

Where:
Carpenter Square Theatre
800 W. Main
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Carpenter Square Theatre
Telephone: 405.232.6500
Contact Name: Rhonda M. Clark
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

A pop-up shop village & Christmas tree lot in Midtown, OKC for the Holiday season. Shops rotate weekly!

Cost: Free

Where:
Holiday Pop-Up Shops
399 NW 10th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.514.5205
Contact Name: Cleo Rajon
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is proud to host an exhibition by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA).   The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association...

Cost: 12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
Website »

More information

Don’t miss this timely exhibition charting the development of contemporary Indigenous art from the US and Canada. Presenting over 80 artworks including paintings, photography, video,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR  72712
View map »


Telephone: 479.418.5700
Website »

More information

Andy Alligator's is hosting a parents night out: Kids will enjoy supervised fun, food and games while parents have a night out on the town to finish up last-minute shopping without the kids....

Cost: $19.95

Where:
Andy Alligator's Fun Park
3300 Market Place Dr
Norman, OK  73072
View map »


Telephone: 405.321.7275
Website »

More information

Come enjoy live, local comedy in Oklahoma City's Plaza District. Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., and the 2nd Saturday of every month also has a family -friendly show...

Cost: $5 - $15

Where:
OKC Improv
1757 N.W. 16th St.
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: OKC Improv
Telephone: 405.456.9858
Contact Name: Kate McLain-Snipes
Website »

More information

With the original Die Hard quickly becoming one of the most popular Christmas films around, we knew that everybody around town would be showing it. So we figured you know what's better than Die...

Cost: $7.50 - $9.50

Where:
Rodeo Cinema
2221 Exchange Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73108
View map »


Sponsor: VHSANDCHILL
Telephone: 405.503.0050
Contact Name: Sean Peel
Website »

More information

A Comedy by Michael Hollinger No menu necessary at the world's greatest restaurant, the Café du Grand Boeuf in Paris. Why? "Because we have everything," headwaiter...

Cost: $5 to $25

Where:
Carpenter Square Theatre
800 W. Main
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Carpenter Square Theatre
Telephone: 405.232.6500
Contact Name: Rhonda M. Clark
Website »

More information

Presented By OKC Ballet, with the OKC Philharmonic Tchaikovsky’s familiar score and Artistic Director Robert Mills’ delightful staging of The Nutcracker will fill your heart...

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall-Thelma Gaylord Theater
201 N Walker
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: OKC Ballet
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

Don’t miss this timely exhibition charting the development of contemporary Indigenous art from the US and Canada. Presenting over 80 artworks including paintings, photography, video,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR  72712
View map »


Telephone: 479.418.5700
Website »

More information

A pop-up shop village & Christmas tree lot in Midtown, OKC for the Holiday season. Shops rotate weekly!

Cost: Free

Where:
Holiday Pop-Up Shops
399 NW 10th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.514.5205
Contact Name: Cleo Rajon
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is proud to host an exhibition by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA).   The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association...

Cost: 12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
Website »

More information

Come enjoy live, local comedy in Oklahoma City's Plaza District. Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., and the 2nd Saturday of every month also has a family -friendly show...

Cost: $5 - $15

Where:
OKC Improv
1757 N.W. 16th St.
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: OKC Improv
Telephone: 405.456.9858
Contact Name: Kate McLain-Snipes
Website »

More information

With the original Die Hard quickly becoming one of the most popular Christmas films around, we knew that everybody around town would be showing it. So we figured you know what's better than Die...

Cost: $7.50 - $9.50

Where:
Rodeo Cinema
2221 Exchange Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73108
View map »


Sponsor: VHSANDCHILL
Telephone: 405.503.0050
Contact Name: Sean Peel
Website »

More information

Presented By OKC Ballet, with the OKC Philharmonic Tchaikovsky’s familiar score and Artistic Director Robert Mills’ delightful staging of The Nutcracker will fill your heart...

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall-Thelma Gaylord Theater
201 N Walker
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: OKC Ballet
Website »

More information

A Comedy by Michael Hollinger No menu necessary at the world's greatest restaurant, the Café du Grand Boeuf in Paris. Why? "Because we have everything," headwaiter...

Cost: $5 to $25

Where:
Carpenter Square Theatre
800 W. Main
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Carpenter Square Theatre
Telephone: 405.232.6500
Contact Name: Rhonda M. Clark
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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