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Tourism and Entertainment

There are many vibrant, colorful ways to pass the time in the Bossier City area. The area hosts several festivals and parades throughout the year, two of the more well-known occurring in February and March in celebration of Mardi Gras. The parades are sponsored by the Krewes of Gemini and Centaur and are held prior to “Fat Tuesday,” the last day of Carnival season before Lent. Spectators and participants typically adorn themselves and their floats with feathers, beads, facemasks, headdresses and other mystical accessories to celebrate this statewide French tradition.

ARTini combines live music, visual art, signature martinis and socializing with a twist. The fundraiser for the Bossier Arts Council, the state’s only free standing arts council, allows guests an opportunity to bid on original artwork and taste martinis concocted by area restaurants and organizations. Proceeds help fund East Bank Theatre, East Bank Gallery, Arts-in-Education programming in Bossier Schools, Art Walk, and a wide range of classes and workshops available throughout the year.

The RED RIVER REVEL began in 1976 as the Junior League of Shreveport’s Bicentennial gift to the citizens of the region. The goal of the festival is to provide the general population a celebration of the finest visual and performing arts experiences in the area. The Red River Revel Arts Festival celebrates the arts with more than 100 visual artists from across the country, three or four performance stages that feature live music and a large area dedicated specifically to providing arts education for children. The festival is widely known for drawing large acts such as Steel Magnolias, Sister Hazel and The Band Perry, but also welcomes street performers and locals as well as nationally known artists.

MUDBUG MADNESS created renewed interest in Louisiana’s rich cultural heritage. What began in 1984 as a two-day street festival in downtown Shreveport is now one of Louisiana’s largest and most popular Cajun festivals, featuring renown Cajun, Zydeco, Blues and Jazz artists, mouth-watering Cajun cuisine, raucous contests and fun for all ages. Now a four-day festival held each Memorial Day weekend, Mudbug Madness is nationally recognized as one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events, drawing as many as 56,000 people in one day.

CORK: A Red River Revel Wine Event has become the premier spring event in the Ark-La-Tex, attracting wine aficionados from across Louisiana, east Texas and southwest Arkansas. CORK offers a wine dinner, educational seminars and the Saturday Afternoon Wine Tasting, offering more than 80 wines, signature dishes from the finest local restaurants and live music. Winemakers from some of the leading wine houses in the country are on-site to answer specific questions.

BREW: A premium beer tasting event adds a special twist to the “Oktoberfest” time of year. The festival is designed to be a fundraiser for Red River Revel, Inc. and Mudbug Madness by providing the community an opportunity to experience a premier beer tasting event on the riverfront in downtown Shreveport.

Another of the area’s tourist attractions is Barksdale Air Force Base, one of the largest military bases in the United States. The base covers more than 22,000 acres and contains the Eighth Air Force Museum, which showcases coveted USAF artifacts. Each May, the base opens its doors to visitors for a two-day event – an air show featuring both military and civilian displays is the cornerstone of the event and draws a sizable crowd each year.

More entertainment can be sought at the Louisiana Boardwalk, a half-mile long development that opened in May 2005. The boardwalk features shopping, riverfront dining and entertainment, making it an ideal family destination by day. By night, a thriving bar scene and a convenient location near the extensive casino district brings the boardwalk to life.

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