Krewe of Harambee Celebrates 20 Years

In Shreveport, revelry goes double as the Krewe of Harambee celebrates Carnival along with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And this year, the krewe marks its 20th anniversary.

Festivities happen over the Martin Luther King Weekend, Jan. 19-20, and include a float-loading party with pig roast, scholarship breakfast with Rick Gallot, president of Grambling State University, and a parade in downtown Shreveport.

It all begins with the float-loading party from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, at the Harambee Den, 1049 Grimmett Drive. While a pig is roasted on an open fire with a pot-luck dinner for guests, krewe members will ready their floats for the Monday parade.

Then on Monday, the fun begins with the annual Hopes and Dreams Scholarship Breakfast at 7 a.m. at the Petroleum Club, 416 Travis St. Gallot will lead the ceremony over a breakfast buffet and several youth will be awarded scholarships. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door or online at

At 1 p.m. Monday, the Krewe of Harambee Parade rolls, beginning at the corner of Common Street and Milam, traveling east on Milam and down Edwards Street, then Texas Street, ending at the Municipal Auditorium where a battle of the bands takes place on the auditorium steps. Float riders will throw Carnival beads, plastic cups and candy, but also their signature handmade African masks. In addition to floats, look for dance groups, youth recreational teams, stilt walkers and marching bands. The parade’s grand marshal will be Dr. Nikole Roebuck, the first woman band director at Grambling.

And to keep the fun going, the Krewe of Harambee will host their annual Saada Maskhara Bal on Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Shreveport Convention Center, featuring a royalty presentation and live music performed by Muzikology. The theme this year is Sankofa 2020, based on the sankofa bird with its head turned back, symbolizing the importance of past knowledge gained for positive progress in the present. Formal attire is required for the ball and tickets are $85 and can be purchased at or from any krewe member.

As for the name, according to Dee Miles, Krewe of Harambee captain, the name of the organization means “pull together” in Swahili.


Categories: Lets Go, Louisiana