Monday, September 10, 2007

Shreveport-Bossier City Tourist Talk - August 2007

Read the August 2007 edition of our e-newsletter, Shreveport-Bossier City Tourist Talk

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Even cold weather is party weather!

Well, Claude the Cajun Crawfish predicted party weather, and we did party at the Krewe of Centaur's Mardi Gras parade! We nearly froze our tails off, but we did party! The crowds were heavy despite the cold weather. Of course, you warm up quickly when you're jumping up and down catching beads. The convention & tourist bureau hosted several travel writers, meeting planners and group tour leaders, and all seemed to have a great time.

Later that night, we took our travel writers to the Krewe of Gemini's Mardi Gras ball. The tableau was very elegant - such pageantry! We danced till the band quit playing, then dragged ourselves home. Well, most of us did, anyway. Three of our travel writers were having such a great time they continued it in downtown Shreveport until around 6 a.m.!

On Sunday, my daughter and I took her black lab, Munch, to the Krewe of Barkus and Meoux's Mardi Paw parade. This year's theme was Celebrity Critters. Munch was dressed as Mr. Mistofolees from the musical "Cats" but I think most people thought he was masquerading as a poodle! Oh well, we had fun!

The weather should be much warmer for this Saturday's Krewe of Gemini parade and we're looking forward to having family in to join in the celebration.

If you're interested in finding out more about Mardi Gras in Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana, visit our website at or .

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Claude the Cajun Crawfish predicts party weather in Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana!

Claude the Cajun Crawfish predicts party weather
Louisiana's own weather predictor has "overshadowed" that furry little guy from Punxatawney, Penn. No longer content to share the day with the groundhog, Claude the Cajun Crawfish has claimed Feb. 1 as the official day when he predicts party weather for Northwest Louisiana Mardi Gras. Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker and Shreveport Mayor Keith Hightower honored the Cajun crustacean by jointly making an official proclamation that Feb. 1, 2006, was "Claude the Cajun Crawfish Day" in Shreveport-Bossier City, La.

There's a lot riding on this prediction for Claude. If he fails to predict party weather for Mardi Gras . . . well, let's just say that there's a steaming pot of chicken and sausage gumbo nearby that could only be enhanced by the addition of some crawfish. But, as always, Claude waved his claws wildly in the air and predicted perfect party weather for the upcoming Mardi Gras festivities. Claude's buddies, Big Clawed and Lil’ Bugger from the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs Hockey team, helped coax him out of his dirt mound. Representatives from local Mardi Gras krewes were also there to cheer him on.

The festivities took place on the banks of the Red River at one of the premier shopping/ dining/ entertainment complexes in Shreveport-Bossier City, the Louisiana Boardwalk. The cheers were loud when Claude raised his claws to the sky and emcee Sandy Franks announced his fair weather prediction for the two major parade weekends – Feb. 18, Krewe of Centaur and Feb. 25, Krewe of Gemini – and all other Mardi Gras celebrations. To that I say “Laissez les bons temps rouler!" (Or, "Let the Good Times Roll” for the French-impaired.)

After the event, a relieved Claude returned to his hole while the crowd enjoyed king cake and chicken and sausage (not crawfish) gumbo. Dr. Cookie and Louisiana Dan entertained everyone with festive Louisiana-style music.

If you'd like to know more about Claude the Cajun Crawfish and Mardi Gras events in Shreveport-Bossier City, contact Claude’s media representative, Brandy Evans, at the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau at 800-551-8682 or Claude’s prediction and photos of the star at the event are available at

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Fall happenings in Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana

Shreveport-Bossier City has been home to thousands of evacuees from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Our hotels and shelters were full for a few weeks, and we were happy to welcome our friends and neighbors from south Louisiana. Many of the evacuees have found permanent housing now, and many of them stayed right here in Shreveport-Bossier City. Things are beginning to return to a more normal pace now and hotel rooms are opening up for visitors. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is scheduled to visit the last remaining official shelter in Shreveport today to encourage New Orleanians to return home. It will be interesting to see how many actually do return. New Orleans is a great city and I expect that it will return to its former glory. My two youngest daughters and I used to make frequent weekend trips to New Orleans as a kind of mini-vacation. It's an easy six-hour drive from Shreveport and it was different every time we visited. Always fun, always new. Can't wait to see it rebuild.

Well, the Red River Revel ended Saturday and I missed two of the performances I most wanted to see -- Kenny Wayne Shepherd and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. But I did spend a fabulous weekend with my daughter helping her plant her first flower bed. The world can't have too many flower gardeners!

One of the acts our family has always enjoyed at the Revel is Trout Fishing in America. Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet are very entertaining musicians. We especially love their children's shows where they sing songs like "The Teddy Bears' Picnic" and "When I Was A Dinosaur." They're always fun to see.

The next major event in Shreveport-Bossier City is the State Fair of Louisiana, October 27-November 13, 2005. The fair lasts for three weeks now, so there's plenty of time for everyone to get out there and see the competitive exhibits, livestock and carnival. And the food -- can't forget the food. It's one of my favorite things about the fair.

More exciting news -- Shreveport-Bossier City has become the new Hollywood! Several major movies, some of which were originally being produced in New Orleans, are being produced in Shreveport-Bossier City. "The Guardian" with Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher; "White Lies," starring Darryl Hannah and directed by John Travolta's brother, Joey; "Salvation;" "Chlorine," with Demi Moore; "The Lodge," and Big Bad Entertainment movies "The Dark," "Quality of Mercy" and "Pilot Jack." There will also be some episodes of the TV series "Thief" filmed here. Wow! I guess if you want to be a movie star, Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana is the place to be!

My co-worker, Betty Jo LeBrun-Mooring, executive director of the Shreveport-Bossier Film Office, has been running around like a woman with her hair on fire. She's working on a new website to list all the info about casting calls and locations and such. In the meantime, if you're interested in anything like that, you can visit her section of our website at As information becomes available, you'll be able to find it there.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

It's time for the Red River Revel, food, music, food, fun and food!

It's not really cooling off very much yet, but October is just around the corner and that means the Red River Revel will be here soon. This year, it starts on October 1 and runs through October 8. The Revel is one of Shreveport-Bossier City's biggest festivals and is a much-loved tradition in our community. There are tons of artists and craftsmen who display and sell their art. Some of it is really unusual. One of my favorites is the artist who paints with Louisiana mud. You wouldn't think it would be pretty, but the paintings are beautiful, and are much more colorful than you would think.

There is also a great variety of entertainment at the Revel. Street magicians, stilt walkers, clowns, jugglers, music, dancing -- there truly is something for everyone. And there's always great musicians. There will be Louisiana jazz, Cajun, zydeco, blues, rock, country, you name it. You won't be able to sit still -- you'll have to grab a partner and dance, dance, dance! This year Kenny Wayne Shepherd will perform on the opening day. Kenny Wayne is from Shreveport, and we always love to have him back. The Fabulous Thunderbirds will also be performing. One of my favorite performances at the Revel is Trout Fishing in America. Besides being funny and entertaining, they're darn good musicians. I especially enjoy their children's shows. My kids and I have been huge fans for years. My "baby" is 20 years old now, but we still sometimes break into spontaneous song with our off-key version of When I Was a Dinosaur!

But as good as all the arts, fun and music are, my favorite thing has got to be the food. Natchitoches meat pies, smoked turkey legs, funnel cakes, shrimp-on-a-stick, baklava, Indian tacos . . . and I'm lucky enough to work right across the street from Festival Plaza, so I can go over there for lunch every day of the festival!

This will be the 30th year the Revel has celebrated the arts in Shreveport-Bossier City, and it's sure to be better than ever. Hope you can come.

You can get a complete listing of events, restaurants, accommodations and attractions in Shreveport-Bossier City by visiting

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Okay, I made myself hungry yesterday just talking about the food at Brother's Seafood Restaurant in the Red River District. I walked over for a late lunch and was well pleased with my experience there. The staff were all very friendly, and they all wanted to be sure I had everything I needed. I ordered the Brother's Hamburger, which was a big, juicy burger with sauteed onions on it and it was so-o-o-o-o delicious! It's one of those hamburgers where the juice will run down your arm if you're not careful -- the way a hamburger really ought to be made. Okay, so my breath wasn't the greatest for the rest of the afternoon, but no one complained, at least not to my face (uhhh, maybe there's a reason for that). My waitress was awesome, but I forgot her name. I'll recognize her next time I'm in there, which will be soon, and I'll try to be seated at her table again. That's it for today -- just wanted to update y'all on the newest restaurant in town!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Well, lots of things have been going on since my last post. One of my favorite new things is the RiverView Park on the Shreveport riverfront. The park has a patterned array of fountains that spray like pixies dancing across the concrete. My granddaughter was in town a few weeks ago and we went to the park every day. She loved playing in the fountains -- alternately dodging the spray and trying to catch them as they rose from the ground! You can see a photo of her in the fountains in the Shreveport-Bossier Tourist Talk newsletter. As you can see, at night, the fountains are lighted and it's so pretty! There's great music on loudspeakers, and there was always a good crowd of people there -- families with kids, couples strolling along the riverfront, and moms with baby strollers. One night, we went down there with a group of friends and took a big tray of fried catfish and french fries -- good food, good friends and good weather -- it was an awesome night.

We've also got a new restaurant in town -- Brother's Seafood. It's in the Red River District across from Wet Willie's and The Funny Bone. The owner, Orlando Chapman, is descended from the owners of the legendary Freeman & Harris Cafe and the Pete Harris Cafe, where all the movers and shakers in Shreveport meet to make deals and do business. It's within walking distance of my office, so I'm looking forward to trying it out. I'll let y'all know once I've had a chance to taste the food, but I'm certain it will be fabulous! I got to meet Orlando recently at a breakfast I attended, and he's very enthusiastic about the new place.

Well, that's about all I've got time for right now. I'll try to post more frequently in the future and keep y'all updated on what's going on here.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Peter Pan in Shreveport? It's true!

Pixie dust. Fairytales. Magical experiences are awaiting you during the Peter Pan-Centennial, September-December 2004 in Shreveport-Bossier's new West Edge Arts District. The Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) will bring Peter Pan to Shreveport for his 100th birthday celebration.

With great fanfare, the community and visitors alike will be able to take part in the "Neverland Street Faire" featuring "Edwardian Era" activities and perhaps flying, Peter Pan Fan Club Birthday Parties, creation of a 40 feet "Never Tree" and a giant "Lost Boys Forest".

The celebration will open to the public, Saturday, Sept. 18, with the faire and Peter Pan-Centennial exhibits that will span two floors of Artspace. This Artspace is Shreveport's first arts center dedicated to the creation, production, presentation, promotion and exploration of all the art disciplines and forms for multi-generational audiences, and offered in a participatory, hands-on manner.

Under curational direction of William Joyce, author and creator of two-time Emmy-Award winning television program Rollie Pollie Ollie, the exhibitions of area artists illustrating one scene from Peter Pan, by Sir J.M. Barrie will extend Artspace's lower floor. The Peter Pan showcase also will consist of memorabilia including original manuscripts and illustrations, costumes from the first plays, and props from the Broadway play with Mary Martin and all Peter Pan movies.

So, why Peter Pan? And, why Shreveport?

"It is our hope that the Peter Pan-Centennial will expose new and old generations to one of the world's best-known children's book," said SRAC's Executive Director Pam Atchinson. "And Shreveport is the ideal place for a celebration of this magnitude, because of this area's love of the arts."

Shreveport is committed to the arts and created a West Edge Arts District. Artspace will serve as a catalyst for greater activity for other arts venues such as Southern University Museum of Art, Strand Theater, and Kuumba Gallery, all in the 500 and 600 blocks of Texas Street downtown.

The "Never Tree" outside of Artspace is just a shadow of things coming in the West Edge Arts District. This tree and the "Lost Boys Forest" are works of world-renowned artist, Patrick Dougherty. His art references architectural, sculptural and landscape forms with inventive natural, nest-like arrangements. Photos are available.

Contact the Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau for more information. 318-222-9391 or 888-45-VISIT or email

Thursday, May 27, 2004

It’s taken more than three decades, but the Louisiana State Oil and Gas Museum is a reality

After three decades and a whole lot of fish fries, Leone Fitgerald Brown finally saw her grandparents and parents dreams become a reality.

The Louisiana State Oil and Gas Museum had its grand opening, Friday, May 14. This museum highlights the importance of the oil industry and the boomtowns it created in northwest Louisiana in the early 1900s. Caddo Indians artifacts and relics are also on display in the museum located in Oil City.

The new museum is 12,000 square-feet. Some of artifacts include a wooden flow line pipe, an electric motor patented in 1899, a steam-driven fluid pump, pipe tongs and other early equipment. There is also a large collection of early boomtown and gusher photographs.

For more information, visit

Thursday, October 09, 2003

They are now permanent fixtures in the Red River District -- Native Americans, Spanish, French, Africans, and other Louisiana pioneers. Three professional artists - Geeta Dave of Baton Rouge, Diana Salles of New Orleans, and LaMoyne Batten of Shreveport - created five sets of archways with their visions about those cultures' indelible impressions upon Northwest Louisiana in the new Louisiana Purchase Plaza.

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World’s Bossier City, Louisiana, grand opening is set for November 6, 2003. The 106,000-square-foot mega store will offer wildlife exhibits, a waterfall and a 15,000-gallon aquarium filled with native fish species.
At the same time, the Bossier City location will also incorporate some of the area’s local flavor and include state record fish, wildlife mounts, old pictures and artifacts from local hunters and fishermen. The new store will anchor the north end of the proposed Bossier City entertainment district.