SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The African American History Parade returns to downtown Shreveport on Saturday.

The 35th annual parade kicks off at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium, located at 705 Elvis Presley Boulevard, on Feb. 4 at 11:00 a.m. Bands, cheerleaders, dance groups, drill teams, social clubs, and more make this parade representative of many communities in Northwest Louisiana.

This free family-friendly event began in 1988 and is a place for all citizens to celebrate Black History Month.

And yes, there will be Mardi Gras beads and candy.

(Map of the African American History Parade route in downtown Shreveport. Image: Shreveport Police Department)

The SPD will close the parade route to traffic beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Feb. 4.

SPD has also provided a list of upcoming parades in Shreveport and tips for how to stay safe when you’re out and about on parade routes.

Upcoming parades:

African American History Parade

Feb. 4; parade route closes at 9:00 a.m. The parade begins at 11:00 a.m.

Krewe of Centaur Parade

Feb. 11; parade route closes at 1:00 p.m. The parade begins at 3:00 p.m.

Krewe of Gemini Parade

Feb. 18; parade route closes at 1:00 p.m. The parade begins at 3:00 p.m.

Krewe of Highland Parade

Feb. 19; parade route closes at 1:00 p.m. The parade begins at 2:00 p.m.

Parade safety tips from SPD

  • Once streets on a parade route are closed, only emergency vehicles will be allowed to drive through.
  • If you leave after the streets on a parade route are closed, you will not be allowed to return in your vehicle until the streets reopen after the parade.
  • Glass bottles and containers are not allowed on parade routes.
  • You are not allowed to cross parade barricades during a parade.
  • Only service animals and animals in the secured yards of residents who live along the parade route are allowed within 200 yards of the parade route.
  • Silly string is not allowed on parade routes.
  • Dangerous objects are not allowed on parade routes.
  • No one is allowed to throw anything at a parade float.
  • No large flags or banners are allowed within 50 feet of the parade route, as they may obstruct the view.
  • No one underage may possess alcohol.
  • No public nudity is allowed.
  • No motorized recreational vehicles are allowed along the parade route, including the grassy areas and on city streets.
  • No firearms are permitted along parade routes.
  • No unmanned aircraft systems (drones) are permitted over parade routes.
  • Children are not allowed to be left unattended.
  • Talk with children about a meeting place in case of accidental separation.
  • Do not fight over Mardi Gras beads.
  • Stay a safe distance away from parade floats.
  • Leave your valuables at home.
  • Keep your keys secure and secure your vehicle before the parade.
  • Do not bring purses or wallets to parades.
  • Keep money, keys and identification secure.
  • Do not dump hot cooking coals on the grass.
  • Obey all directions from law enforcement officers.
  • Obey all traffic signs.
  • Have fun and stay safe!