Often overshadowed by New Orleans' world-famous Mardi Gras, the Shreveport and Bossier City area attractions tend to be overlooked by tourists. Separated by the Red River, each city offers a bevy of entertainment options that reflect both the culture of the state and the local area. State pride is especially heralded at Shreveport's annual crawfish celebration complete with Zydeco bands at the MudBug Festival.
Film and Theater
Downtown Shreveport has eclectic options for theater lovers. Big-screen aficionados may catch a foreign film and fill up on a bistro entree and a choice glass of wine at the Robinson Film Center (robinsonfilmcenter.org). For a live Broadway-style performance, Louisiana's official state theater, The Strand Theatre (thestrandtheatre.com), is only 1/4 mile away. The Strand's luxurious gilded interior is equipped a with four-tier opera house seating plan. Bossier City residents don't have to travel to Shreveport, however. Their town's Company Repertory Theatre and East Bank Theatre each offer live drama and comedy performances. The East Bank Theatre, specifically, is part of the city's arts council revolution and features non-traditional performances such as "The Vagina Monologues" by Eve Ensler.
Area festival fun begins every spring with the Lady Bug Festival (laredbud.com) highlighted by carnivals and treasure hunts. Every Memorial Day, Shreveport holds the Mudbug Festival (mudbugmadness.com) in honor of the state's popular crawfish. Attendees enjoy live Zydeco music and participate in crawfish eating contests. In mid-autumn, Shreveport hosts the state fair (statefairoflouisiana.com). Fair attractions include rides, duck races, games and ice cream eating contests. Meanwhile, Shreveport's downtown Festival Plaza is alive with Red River Revel Arts festival (redriverrevel.com) where local artists showcase paintings, ceramics and metal works.
Gamblers visit the Shreveport-Bossier City region in droves because it has many casinos with almost every game of chance imaginable. Shreveport's high-rise Sam's Town Casino (samstownshreveport.com) features 1,100 slots and games like Texas Hold 'Em and baccarat. Bossier City's Boomtown Casino (boomtownbossier.com) has Casino Player Magazine-recognized reel slots, video poker and three blackjack tables. Professional gamblers who prefer luxury accommodations may prefer DiamondJacks Casino Resort(diamondjacks.com). After playing roulette and three- and four-card poker, visitors can dine at any of three onsite first class restaurants.
Historians may appreciate visiting Shreveport's Louisiana State Exhibit Museum (sos.louisiana.gov). It not only features displays of authentic Civil War collectibles but was built in 1939 making it one of the oldest structures in the state. If national pride is your thing, travel a few miles across the Red River to Bossier City's Eighth Air Force Museum (8afmuseum.com) to see relics of aviation history. Classic American and European art lovers should visit the fine art exhibits at Shreveport's R.W. Norton Art Foundation (rwnaf.org). Finally, Shreveport's Meadows Museum of Art (centenary.edu/meadows/) has permanent collections from Indochina.
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