UWK's Kiran Chawla in the Krewe of Shenandoah parade

Krewe of Shenandoah reigns supreme in debut as Baton Rouge’s newest Lundi Gras parade

  • Kiran Chawla
  • 2024 Krewe of Shenandoah parade in Baton Rouge
  • 2024 Krewe of Shenandoah parade in Baton Rouge
  • 2024 Krewe of Shenandoah parade in Baton Rouge
  • 2024 Krewe of Shenandoah parade in Baton Rouge
  • 2024 Krewe of Shenandoah parade in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Krewe of Shenandoah came about thanks to Wisconsin transplants Julie and James Crow, who just 10 years ago, didn’t know much about Mardi Gras celebrations in the South.

Fast forward to now, and they are the organizers of Baton Rouge’s newest parade, the Krewe of Shenandoah, which will be rolling this year on Feb. 12.

CARNIVAL GUIDE: 2024 Mardi Gras Guide: Parade schedules, maps, throws and where to watch!

Julie Crow’s love for the Mardi Gras culture in the South came 10 years ago when she and James moved to the South to be closer to their son and grandson.

“When we lived in Wisconsin, Mardi Gras consisted of Fat Tuesday, and not much happened at that time,” she explained. “If you were lucky, you went to a bar or something, and they had some hats and horns, and that was that.”

“We moved down here, and that was in June. The following Mardi Gras season, our son took us to a Mardi Gras parade and said, ‘Mom and Dad, you probably would like this,'” she added. “And we went to our first parade, and I was hooked. We were hooked from the get-go. I was saying, ‘Oh my gosh, how can you have any more fun than this’?”

Julie’s idea for the city’s newest parade began 14 months ago after conversing with her husband.

They’ve lived in Shenandoah for six years. She said she wondered why there hadn’t been a parade in that area before, and that’s when the idea of the Krewe of Shenandoah was born.

“We thought about it for a while, and I threw the idea out there, and I posted on Facebook to see if there might be any people interested in pursuing this,” she recalled. “I was extremely blessed to have 10 highly skilled, highly dedicated people step forward and say, ‘yeah, we’d like to jump on board and look at doing this.’ We all got together about a year ago and threw around ideas, and the rest is history.”

In addition to the Krewe of Shenandoah being the area’s first parade and one of the only night parades in Baton Rouge, the newest parade will be Baton Rouge’s first-ever Lundi Gras parade, according to Crow.

The parade rolls at 7 p.m. and starts at the intersection of Jones Creek Road and Tiger Bend Road. The route is 2.9 miles and travels on Vicksburg Drive, Malvern Hill Ave, down Antioch Blvd to Shenandoah Blvd, and back down Jones Creek to end where it started.

Crow said there are 53 entries in the parade, which includes floats, bands, dancing units and more.

King Gordy Rush and Queen Kiran Chawla lead the Krewe royalty. Rush is the vice president and general manager of Guaranty Media. Chawla is the CEO and founder of Unfiltered with Kiran.

Krewe of Shenandoah king
Parade King Gordy Rush

The parade will also honor a founder queen and parade marshal. The founder queen is Becky Harger, the daughter of Teddy Harger, who, with Edward Evans, were Shenandoah’s original developers, according to the parade’s website.

The Krewe of Shenandoah’s parade marshal is singer-songwriter and military advocate David St. Romain.

“I’m excited about this,” Crow said. “We’re very prideful of what we’re bringing. We only hope this will be a fun experience for everybody involved. We went out of our way to ensure it was nonpolitical and family-friendly. We’re very excited and prideful about what we have been able to accomplish in about a year.”

The inaugural parade will include special throws like golf balls to go with their theme this year of “Par for the course.” Plus, there will be special UWK throws!

Download the Unfiltered with Kiran app from the Apple App Store and Google Play to stay updated on the latest news across the Capital area.

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