With the first Mardi Gras parade of the season in Shreveport already in the books on Monday afternoon, people around the Ark-La-Tex are making their Mardi Gras purchases to prepare for all of the festivities. The parades, masks and beads are all staple items that we see around town starting on January 6 each year.
Owner of Tubbs Hardware Stores in Bossier City and Benton, Don Tubbs has anything and everything Mardi Gras-related in stock at his store. He says when people walk into his store, "they instantly see that we're the Disneyland of Mardi Gras."
He told us that people from near and far travel to the Shreveport-Bossier area to get their Mardi Gras goodies. "We have a big time with people who come here from Texas and Arkansas (and) Oklahoma," Tubbs said. "They just want to see what Mardi Gras is all about in Northwest Louisiana."
Masks, beads and other festive purchases bring in millions of dollars for the city during the Mardi Gras season, but another big moneymaker for local businesses like Tubbs and The Dough Basket are the King Cakes. Tanya Clark owns The Dough Basket on Azalea Drive in Shreveport where they make King Cakes from scratch all year long.
Clark especially looks forward to this busy time of year for area bakeries. "We've already got several multiple orders that we're working on today and tomorrow," Clark told us. "Closer to the parades, the last two weekends, we'll be swamped."
Clark says that, this Mardi Gras season, they hope to top last year's number of 1500 King Cakes sold at their bakery. Clark told us that there is one good reason why you should get your King Cakes this Mardi Gras season. "It's tradition, and that's how you get into the whole Mardi Gras thing."