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.