90 year-old video of Mardi Gras in Shreveport

Twin Blends; Blending the past with the present

From family-friendly parades to extravagant masked balls; Mardi Gras in Shreveport is almost unforgettable, but how far back can you remember?

When you think of Mardi Gras in Shreveport the Krewe of Gemini and Centaur probably come to mind, but what if I were to tell you the first celebration of Mardi Gras in Shreveport came long before Gemini, Centaur, televisions, or the National Football League.

Buckle up, because I have some Shreveport Mardi Gras facts coming your way; 

The first Mardi Gras celebration in Shreveport took place in 1874!

The Shreveport Daily Standard in 1880 records that 15,000 people packed the streets for the parades.

Nineteen years later was possibly the largest early Mardi Gras celebration, the year was 1899. Floats were large and impressive and were built by individuals or merchants as advertising (such as Schlitz Beer and Victoria Lumber Co.). One carriage is said to have carried local madam Annie McCune and her “girls.” 

According to the Shreveport Daily Standard newspaper, the 1910 Mardi Gras theme was “Theodore Roosevelt in Africa” and the eight floats of the parade represented his adventures.

The good times came to stop during World War I as Mardi Gras was suspended throughout Louisiana during that time. 

The 1926 Mardi Gras celebration was the first held since the ceasing of festivities during World War I in 1917 and 1918.

John D. Ewing — editor and publisher of The Shreveport Times and King of Carnival in 1926, fearing that there would be no Mardi Gras in 1927, put up his own money to finance the event. The theme was “Ancient Mythology.”

Mardi Gras was discontinued after 1927, perhaps partially due to the economic collapse of the country starting in 1929.

Six decades later, Mardi Gras resurfaced in Shreveport. The year was 1984 and the Krewe of Apollo was established its roots in the New Orleans Apollo chapter.

Then in 1989 the Krewe of Gemini began, and it was followed two years later by the Krewe of Centaur.

Now that know you a know some of the history surrounding Mardi Gras in Shreveport, you may be asking yourself "what if I could turn back the hands of time to see what it looked like in 1874, or 1927?"

Well - you're in luck, because a 90 year-old reel was discovered by Shreveport historian Daniel Garner. He transferred to VHS. It not only had the the 1927 Mardi Gras, but it also contained the 1927 State Fair of Louisiana.

Years later Marty Loschen with the Spring Street Museum found a copy in archives and took it to two local twins who love history, and love Shreveport history.

Their names are Mark and Mike Mangham, owners of Twin Blends photography - they capture history from the ground and the air. 

In October of 2016, the Mangham twins (Twin Blends) created a now and then video of the State Fair of Louisiana. They were able to use still shots from the video discovered at the Spring Street Museum, and blend those clips with current day clips from the Fair Grounds.

After discovering the rare footage from the 1927 State Fair of Louisiana, the Mangham brothers noticed the 1927 Mardi Gras video.

"We looked back and it had the 1927 Mardi Gras in Shreveport. So I just saved it, and when Mardi Gras started coming around we said, ok we'll put this out there", says Mike Mangham.

And they did. Mark and Mike Mangham recently posted the entire 1927 video to their Facebook page and its received a lot of traction over the past week. You can view the entire video by heading here: https://www.facebook.com/twinblendsphotography/?fref=ts

Days after posting the video the brothers met up with our Morning Show Reporter, Joel Rodgers. Who just like Mike Mangham, enjoys editing video and being creative. The Mangham brothers shared what Shreveport history means to them, their love for creating unique videos, and the enjoyment that comes from working with family. 

Twin Blends, they're brothers with such an interesting hobby, it'll make you want to be their triplet. 

Happy Mardi Gras everyone!


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