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Shreveport Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau
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Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau to Present Reunion Planning Workshop to Capacity Crowd on Saturday, Feb. 8

Tuesday, 4 February, 2014 9:53 by Chris Jay

“Sold-out” event will be attended by 60 reunion planners, 20 vendors

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER, LA –
A capacity crowd of 60 reunion planners and 20 vendors have registered to attend a free workshop on the subject of planning a family, military or class reunion, which will be presented by the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau at the Villaggio Lakehouse and Event Center in Bossier City, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 8. During the event, attendees will learn how to plan a reunion itinerary, how to select a host hotel, tips for scouting event sites and more.  The workshop includes a “How to Plan a Reunion” presentation and a meet-and-greet with hospitality industry partners and vendors who focus on reunions.

Research shows that a family, military or class reunion with 75 attendees will have an estimated economic impact of $70,500, including spending related to hotel accommodations, meals, shopping and transportation. If all of the reunion planners in attendance at Saturday’s workshop follow through on hosting their events locally, the workshop could help to generate approximately $4.2 million in economic impact. At this time, no additional RSVPs are being taken for this event, but plans are in the works to offer a similar workshop in the near future.     
 
NOTE TO MEDIA: To arrange for an interview with a reunion planner, vendor or workshop organizer on the day of the event, contact Chris Jay at (318) 272-1696 (cell). Bureau president Stacy Brown is also available for media interviews in advance of Saturday’s workshop.   

2014 Mardi Gras Season Kicks Off in Shreveport-Bossier

Tuesday, 7 January, 2014 14:20 by Chris Jay

More than 400,000 revelers are expected to participate in major parades including Krewe of Centaur (Feb. 22), Krewe of Gemini (March 1) and Krewe of Highland (March 2)
 

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER, LA – Carnival season is officially underway in Shreveport-Bossier. Major parade dates for 2014 include: the Krewe of Sobek, Jan. 18; the Krewe of Harambee, Jan. 20; the Krewe of Centaur, Feb. 22; the Krewe of Gemini, March 1; and the Krewe of Highland, March 2. In addition to parades, Carnival season in Shreveport-Bossier features extravagant bals, float-loading parties, live music events and more. 2014 marks the 25th annual celebration of Carnival season in Shreveport-Bossier since parading krewes returned to the region in 1989, and area krewes plan to celebrate the silver anniversary in style. A full listing of Carnival season events in Shreveport-Bossier can be found at www.sbfunguide.com.

Major Parade Weekends

A combined total of more than 400,000 revelers are expected to attend the Krewe of Centaur and Krewe of Gemini parades, which are the largest parades in northern Louisiana. The Krewe of Centaur XXIII parade, with the theme “Fables, Folk Lore and Fairy Tales,” will roll on Saturday, Feb. 22. The Krewe of Gemini XXV parade, with the theme “Throw Me a Memory, Mister!,” will roll on Saturday, March 1. Both parades begin at 4:30 p.m. at the intersection of Clyde Fant Parkway and Lake Street in downtown Shreveport and proceed south along the riverfront parade route before ending in Shreveport’s Broadmoor neighborhood at the intersection of Preston Street and East Kings Highway. The route for both parades includes a kid-friendly, alcohol-free zone located near the beginning of the parade route at the intersection of Clyde Fant Parkway and Stoner Avenue.

Neighborhood Parades

Shreveport-Bossier also offers a variety of neighborhood parades. The Krewe of Sobek parade, which will depart from Fairgrounds Field at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18, will roll through the Queensborough neighborhood with the theme “Sobek Under the Big Top.” The enormous Krewe of Harambee Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Mardi Gras Parade will roll through downtown Shreveport via Milam Street and Texas Street at 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 20. The Krewe of Harambee parade includes a large number of marching bands from throughout the region, as well as performing arts troupes including dance groups and stilt walkers. Following the parade, there is a “Battle of the Marching Bands” and second line in the 700 block of Elvis Presley Avenue near Shreveport Municipal Auditorium.

Pets have their own parade in Shreveport-Bossier, and thousands of pet owners dress their cats, dogs, ponies and more in Mardi Gras finery for the annual Krewe of Barkus and Meoux Pet Parade. Known locally as “the animal krewe,” the Krewe of Barkus and Meoux will march through RiverView Park in downtown Shreveport at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23. Pet registration information and other parade details are available at www.animalkrewe.org

Shreveport-Bossier’s largest neighborhood parade, the Krewe of Highland parade will roll through Shreveport’s historic Highland neighborhood at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 2. The Krewe of Highland is well-known for its funky, unpredictable array of floats, marching societies and bands, as well as unique throws that include grilled hot dogs, moon pies and more. The parade begins and ends at the intersection of Gilbert Drive and Gregg Avenue, proceeding along a circuitous route through the neighborhood via Gladstone Boulevard, Creswell Avenue, Olive Street and Centenary Boulevard. Popular spots for enjoying this parade include the area surrounding Columbia Park, 2900 Creswell Avenue, and the area surrounding the campus of Centenary College of Louisiana, 2911 Centenary Boulevard.  

For a complete listing of Carnival season festivities in Shreveport-Bossier, please visit www.sbfunguide.com. For more information on visiting Shreveport-Bossier, including accommodations, transportation and more, please visit www.shreveport-bossier.org.          

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NOTE TO MEDIA: Recent, high-quality images of Mardi Gras festivities in Shreveport-Bossier are available for media use. To request images, contact Chris Jay at cjay@sbctb.org.

Volunteers Sought for 4th Annual Red River Clean Up

Monday, 11 November, 2013 11:42 by Chris Jay

Clean up begins at 8 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 16 at Stoner Boat Launch

SHREVEPORT, LA - Local organizations are taking a strong stance against trash and asking residents to volunteer for the 4th Annual Red River Clean Up, Saturday, Nov. 16 from 8 a.m. to noon starting at the Stoner Boat Launch on Clyde Fant Parkway in downtown Shreveport.

The 4th Annual Red River Clean Up is being organized by the Bayou Chapter of the Ozark Society in partnership with the Ark-La-Tex Chapter of the Arkansas Canoe Club and Shreveport Green. The Red River Clean Up is registered as a National River Clean Up with American Rivers and Project AWARE, which is focused on conserving underwater environments.

For those who volunteer for the clean-up, garbage bags, pickers and water will be provided. Also, there will be free food, and prizes will be awarded to the person who finds the most unique piece of trash. In years past, car doors, a coffin decorated for Halloween and other unusual items have been collected along the river, as well as hundreds of bags of common litter.

The Clean Team of Shreveport-Bossier is supporting the ongoing, long-term clean-up efforts to beautify the sister cities with trash pickup, education and code enforcement. That coalition includes: Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau and hospitality industry partners, Shreveport Green, Keep Bossier Beautiful, Lamar Advertising, City of Shreveport, City of Bossier, Downtown Development Authority, Senator Barrow Peacock, Caddo Sheriff’s Office, Bossier Sheriff’s Department, State Fair of Louisiana, and DOTD.

For more information visit, www.redrivercleanup.com.

American Junior Golf Association David Toms Foundation Shreveport Junior Returns to Shreveport-Bossier

Monday, 24 June, 2013 15:40 by Chris Jay

Event will be held at Southern Trace Country Club in Shreveport, July 23-25

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER, LA – The American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) will return to Shreveport-Bossier, July 23-25, when it hosts the AJGA David Toms Foundation Shreveport Junior at Southern Trace Country Club. Last year’s inaugural event featured 72 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 17 states and three countries. Shreveporter Eric Ricard, a 2013 LSU signee and current Louisiana State Amateur Champion, won the 2012 event after posting scores of 71-68-70 for a tournament total 7-under-par 209. In the Girls Division, Elizabeth Doty, of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., took home her first AJGA Championship with a tournament total 1-over-par 217. Sponsors of the AJGA David Toms Foundation Shreveport Junior include the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, Superior’s Steakhouse and Superior Grill. A qualifier for the AJGA David Toms Foundation Shreveport Junior will be held at Palmetto Country Club on Sunday, July 21. Registration is now open at www.ajga.org.

“We’re excited to be back at Southern Trace for a second year,” said AJGA Director of Tournament Operations Jeremy Freyman. “There’s a great deal of local and national talent involved in this tournament, and we expect to see some fantastic scores.”

A Junior-Am Fundraising Tournament will be held on Monday, July 22, at Southern Trace Country Club, with all proceeds benefitting the David Toms Foundation and the AJGA Foundation. For more information on the AJGA David Toms Foundation Junior or the Junior-Am Fundraising Tournament, visit www.ajga.org.   

The mission of the David Toms Foundation is to provide opportunities for at-risk boys and girls while helping underprivileged, abused and abandoned children through funding programs that are designed to enhance a child's character, self-esteem and career possibilities.

The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA Foundation forms the backbone of support necessary to help guarantee that future generations of AJGA community members are given the same opportunities as those that preceded them.  Over the past decade, AJGA Junior-Ams have raised more than $1 million for junior programs.

For more information about upcoming sporting events in Shreveport-Bossier, visit www.shreveportbossiersports.com. For more information about things to see and do in Shreveport-Bossier, visit www.shreveport-bossier.org.

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Dallas Cowboys’ Jason Witten to Speak at AdvoCare V100 Bowl’s Fourth-Annual Kickoff Luncheon

Thursday, 6 June, 2013 14:02 by Chris Jay

Tickets Now Available for July 17 Event at Shreveport Convention Center

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER, LA – Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten will be the featured speaker at the Fourth Annual AdvoCare V100 Bowl Kickoff Luncheon scheduled for 11:45 a.m., Wednesday, July 17 at the Shreveport Convention Center in downtown Shreveport, Louisiana. Tickets for the luncheon are now available for $50 each. Tables of eight are available for $400. Tickets can be purchased by calling the AdvoCare V100 Bowl office at (318) 221-0712 or toll-free at (888) 414-BOWL (2695). Tickets can also be purchased online at www.advocarev100bowl.org by clicking the “Tickets” link.

“It's a privilege to have All-Pro Dallas Cowboy tight end Jason Witten as this year's featured speaker at the AdvoCare V100 Bowl Kickoff Luncheon,” 2013 AdvoCare V100 Bowl Chairman John Hubbard said. “Named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year last year, Jason's passion for community goes beyond his accomplishments on the field. Whether you wear black and gold or silver and blue, Jason's message is for you.”

Drafted by Dallas out of the University of Tennessee in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft, Witten is in his 11th season with the Cowboys. His 806 career receptions rank first in Cowboys’ history and third in the NFL among tight ends. His 8,948 career receiving yards also ranks third in NFL history among tight ends. Witten has been named to the Pro Bowl eight times, including seven-consecutive years from 2004-10, as well as 2012. He has also been voted an All-Pro six times, in 2004, 2007-10 and 2012.

Witten enjoyed a career year in 2012, hauling in an NFL record for tight ends and Cowboys’ franchise record 110 receptions for 1,039 yards and three touchdowns. In Week 8 against the New York Giants, Witten caught 18 passes for 169 yards, which is the NFL record for tight ends and Cowboys’ franchise record for receptions in a game.
Along with being one of the best tight ends in NFL history, Witten is also dedicated to the betterment of the community. Jason Witten’s SCORE Foundation has established a number of programs to combat domestic violence. He has also helped establish Learning Centers at the Boys and Girls Clubs in East Dallas, his hometown of Elizabethtown, Tenn. and in Knoxville, Tenn. He also hosts a free youth football clinic in Elizabethtown, with about 1,200 kids in attendance each year.

Witten was named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year in 2012, which recognizes a player’s volunteer and charity work, as well as on-field excellence.

Shreveport Farmers' Market Opens for 2013 Season

Wednesday, 29 May, 2013 16:48 by Chris Jay

Popular Saturday and Tuesday markets return with more than 150 booths, June 1-August 31

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER - The 2013 season of Shreveport Farmers’ Market will open on Saturday, June 1, with more than 150 booths of locally-grown produce, meat, honey, and plants as well as delicious artisan food products, arts and crafts, and Market Café. On Saturdays, the farmers’ market takes place in Festival Plaza on Crockett Street, from Market Street to Commerce Street in downtown Shreveport. On Tuesdays, a smaller market will be held on the east end of Festival Plaza, 3-6 p.m. The Saturday market takes place, 7 a.m.-12 p.m., June 1-August 31, with the exception of June 22. The Shreveport Farmers' Market is thought to be one of the fastest-growing markets in the southern United States, having grown from 2,000 attendees on opening day in 2008 to more than 12,000 attendees on opening day in 2012.     

With many new vendors and a new market layout, shoppers are urged to explore all sections of the market. This year, Market Café will be located in the tent adjacent to the East Pavilion, with a live band, and ready-to-eat cuisine ranging from beignets to East African specialties. The East Pavilion will house 86 vendors. An Artists Alley will feature artists working on their wares, including spinning locally-grown alpaca fibers and throwing pots.  Food Row is a new feature on the west side that is home to a variety of dairy foods; blanched, frozen vegetables; ethically-produced meats; as well as food trucks. In addition to the vendors, the West Pavilion will host various demonstrations, as well as bluegrass band The Blanchard Jammers on the second Saturday of each month. The gazebo on the west side will present fun activities for kids to learn about food, and occasionally taste new things, in conjunction with HGIO – Healthy, Green, and Into the Outdoors.

This year, Shreveport Farmers’ Market will accept SNAP (formerly food stamp) Benefits. Shoppers wanting to take advantage of the program will slide their cards at The Tower, located on the west side of the market, and their benefits will be converted to tokens with which they may use to shop at participating vendors. Some vendors also accept WIC and Senior Nutrition Food Program vouchers. There is also an ATM on site.

Parking is available at metered spaces which are free on Saturday on nearby streets, as well as in various public and pay lots nearby. Admission to Shreveport Farmers' Market is free.

For more information, visit www.shreveportfarmersmarket.com, or “like” Shreveport Farmers’ Market on Facebook for updates. Those with questions may also call 318-455-5788, or email to farmersmarket@redriverrevel.com. Shreveport Farmers’ Market is a project of Red River Revel Arts Festival, and is sponsored by Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport, and the City of Shreveport.

 

2nd Annual DigiFest South Will be Held, September 20-21, in Shreveport-Bossier

Monday, 13 May, 2013 12:07 by Chris Jay

Digital arts festival seeks artists, exhibitors, and entrepreneurs to participate in an expanded variety of programs and events

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER, LA – DigiFest South, a digital arts festival first held in Shreveport-Bossier in 2012, is seeking artists, exhibitors, and entrepreneurs to participate in its second annual digital technology exposé and arts festival, scheduled for Sep. 20-21, 2013. DigiFest South is a community outreach program of the Bossier Arts Council. Through a family-friendly schedule of events, DigiFest South celebrates how digital technology combines with artistic creativity to shape modern society.

New for this year’s event, DigiFest South will host a variety of programs in downtown Shreveport. CoHabitat Shreveport, a collaborative workspace located in downtown Shreveport’s riverfront entertainment district, will host a digital economy symposium and other DigiFest South-affiliated events throughout the weekend. Events at CoHabitat Shreveport will include several workshops, panels, and talks centered on digital media, including panels on how to continue building a digital media infrastructure in Louisiana, business planning, and an angel investor pitch event. Also new for the 2013 festival, DigiFest South will present a digital music concert underneath the Texas Street Bridge in downtown Shreveport.
  
DigiFest South seeks the most innovative and progressive artists, companies, organizations, and educational institutions to showcase their contribution to the digital age and inspire young minds to seek careers in the digital media industry. Registration forms can be found online at www.bossierarts.org. DigiFest South 2013 will feature:

•    Technology Exposé Floor Show
•    Digital Industry Workshops and Panels
•    Video Game Design Competition
•    Phenom Film Festival
•    Digital Media Presentations
•    Digital Art Exhibition
•    Digital Music Concert

All entries for digital art, display booths, and entrepreneurial pitches must be submitted by June 29. For more information, visit www.bossierarts.org or “like” DigiFest South on Facebook at www.facebook.com/digifestsouth.

2013 P.R.I.D.E. Awards to be held on Thursday, May 9

Wednesday, 24 April, 2013 6:54 by Chris Jay

Awards ceremony at Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino recognizes star employees in tourism and hospitality industry

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER, LA –
The 2013 P.R.I.D.E. Awards banquet will be held, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Thursday, May 9 at Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino. The P.R.I.D.E. Awards banquet, a presentation of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau, is held annually during the first full week in May, which is National Travel and Tourism Week. The purpose of the evening is to recognize star employees in 30 categories ranging from “Outstanding Valet” to “Outstanding Hotel Executive.” The evening’s final award, the “P.R.I.D.E. Master” award, is the region’s highest honor among tourism and hospitality professionals. “P.R.I.D.E.” stands for “Proud Residents Involved in Developing our Economy.”

Cost to attend the awards dinner is $40 per person or $350 for a table of 10; the top three nominees in each category will be invited to attend the dinner free of charge, courtesy of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. Tickets may be purchased online at www.2013PrideAwards.eventbrite.com or at the door until 7 p.m.

The 2013 P.R.I.D.E. Awards will be hosted by Dan and Jaque Jovic, of KTAL NewsChannel 6, and will feature live music by Professor Porkchop. Cocktail attire is recommended. For more information, contact the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau at (318) 222-9391.

Chimp Haven to Host Second Annual Earth Day Festival on Saturday, April 20

Friday, 12 April, 2013 11:02 by Chris Jay

KEITHVILLE, LA – Chimp Haven will host its Second Annual Earth Day Festival, held in conjunction with Chimpanzee Discovery Day, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, April 20. Located 22 miles southwest of Shreveport, La., in the Eddie D. Jones Nature Park in Keithville, La., Chimp Haven serves as The National Chimpanzee Sanctuary. The annual Earth Day Festival includes opportunities to view resident chimpanzees, as well as food, art and exhibits by local environmental organizations, businesses and artisans. Admission to the festival is free.

Visitors will enjoy live music by AirHeart, as well as activities for the whole family. There will be opportunities to view the resident chimpanzees, new and old, in their natural environment as they forage for food. Guests will also have the chance to talk with staff members about the distinct personalities and natural behavior of the resident chimpanzees. Behind-the-scenes hayride tours will be offered every hour, on the half hour; however, seating is limited so it is recommended to make reservations prior to the event. Cost for the hayride is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and younger. Additional educational activities include fishing for candy termites, visiting the conservation station, and learning about chimpanzees’ habitats and behavior.

Educating the public about conservation is an important component of Chimp Haven’s mission. This event allows the sanctuary to serve the community in an educational capacity while providing an example of environmental stewardship.

“The focus of this year’s event will be sustainability, which is important not only for the wellbeing of humans, but also for the natural habitats of chimpanzees,” Chimp Haven President and Chief Executive Officer Cathy Willis Spraetz said. “As we educate individuals during Earth Day of the importance of developing personal sustainability practices, we also educate them on how to preserve the natural habitats of chimpanzees in Africa from right here in our community.”

This event is free and open to the public; however, donations are welcomed. Visitors may consider bringing peanut butter, flavored ice pops, animal crackers, elbow macaroni, instant rice, bagels and applesauce for the chimpanzees. Early arrival is recommended for best viewing. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

For more information on Earth Day or to RSVP for behind-the-scenes hayride tours, please call (318) 925-9575. For more information on Chimp Haven, the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary, visit www.chimphaven.org.

Spring 2013 Texas Avenue Makers Fair to be Held on Saturday, April 27

Thursday, 11 April, 2013 13:12 by Chris Jay

Unique arts and craft fair returns with 168 vendors, food truck court and more

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER, LA –
The Texas Avenue Community Association (TACA) will host the Spring 2013 edition of the Texas Avenue Makers Fair, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, April 27. The event will take place in the 800 block of historic Texas Avenue in downtown Shreveport, near the intersection of Common Street and Texas Avenue. Admission is free. The biannual Texas Avenue Makers Fair, held each spring and fall, invites non-traditional crafters, or "makers," to offer their handmade items for sale to the public. Original artwork, one-of-a-kind musical instruments, clothing, jewelry, limited edition graphics and made-from-scratch food are only a few of the items to be offered by participating vendors. More information, including a complete list of vendors, is available at www.texasavemakersfair.com.  

New for the Spring 2013 fair is a food truck court, located adjacent to the main vendor area. Participating food trucks will include Some Like It Hot, River City Seafood and JEMS Italian Ice. Additional food and drink vendors will be available in the main vendor area.

“We liked the idea of the food court because it gets the food trucks off to the side for easier traffic, and will also slightly bring people further down Texas Avenue,” said TACA member and festival organizer Kelly McSwain.     

TACA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the mission of which is to organize and promote community and community interest along the historic Texas Avenue corridor and its adjacent neighborhoods. One of TACA’s largest community outreach projects, the Texas Avenue Makers Fair is a completely volunteer-driven effort, involving approximately 50 volunteers. Sponsors of the Spring 2013 fair are Citizens National Bank, the Downtown Development Authority, minicine? Swampland, Credit Bureau of the South and Church of the Holy Cross. For more information on TACA, visit www.texasave.org

For more information on the Texas Avenue Makers Fair, visit www.texasavemakersfair.com or email makersfair@texasave.org.

This edition of the Texas Avenue Makers Fair will coincide with the ASEANA Spring Arts Festival, which will take place in the Asian Gardens located at the corner of Milam Street and Texas Avenue beginning at 12 p.m. Free to attend, the 2013 ASEANA Spring Arts Festival will celebrate the cuisine, music and dance of India. 

For more information on these and other events taking place in Shreveport-Bossier, visit www.shreveportbossierfunguide.com.  

NOTE TO MEDIA: High-quality, print-resolution images from past installments of the Texas Avenue Makers Fair are available for media use. To request images, contact Chris Jay at cjay@sbctb.org or call (318) 429-0658.

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