SHREVEPORT -- This area of Louisiana can boast of a few attractions
that will make it a prime destination for motorcoach visitors.
Among its highlights are museums, casinos and soon, golf
courses. And in conjunction with the state's year-long celebration
of FrancoFete, the annual state fair held in Shreveport is to
feature special French-Canadian guests.
According to Preston Friedley, president of the
Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau, this year as
many as 50 members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will
participate in a musical ride.
The Louisiana State Fair is scheduled for Oct. 21 to 27.
On the non-French related front, the 67,000-square-foot Sci-Port
Discovery Center opened in downtown Shreveport this winter,
offering visitors a place where "science is fun."
"We had 40,000 visitors the first month it opened," Friedley
said. Sci-Port became the fifth resident of an area where Friedley
said there are already a cluster of museum attractions.
Most of the exhibits and interactive displays at Sci-Port focus
on oil, gas, the river and railroads, which are dominant in this
area. Friedley said it even has a working oil well.
Officials claim it is the only museum of its type and has 200
exhibits. Most of the exhibits are interactive, and will appeal to
people of all ages.
The domed facility features six interactive discovery areas; an
IMAX Dome Theater; an innovative demonstration theater; more than
200 experiences; a Galaxy Cafe, which claims to offer morsels that
are out of this world, and a gift shop pushing "way cool
Sci-Port is open every day except Easter, Thanksgiving and
Christmas. Admission is $6 for the discovery areas ($4.50 for
children ages 3 to 12) and $10 for a combination Discovery/IMAX
ticket ($7 for children).
Groups of 20 or more are offered a $1 discount off rates, and
senior and school group rates are available. Sci-Port, Phone: (318)
"Also in the downtown riverfront Shreveport area, we have what
we call Museum Mile," Friedley said. It is an area with five
museums. Among them are:The Spring Street Museum which traces the community's history
with rare antiques and artifacts.Ark-La-Tex Antique & Classic Vehicle Museum, featuring
classic modes of transportation, costumes and special
exhibits.The R.S. Barnwell Garden & Art Center, a climate-controlled
geodesic-domed conservatory.Sports Museum of Champions, comprising a large collection of
memorabilia from international and All-American (mostly north
Also being developed in stages is an $8.5 million, four-block
permanent riverfront festival site. This fall, phase one opened in
time to host Red River Revel; construction on two more phases is to
begin this spring.
However, by summer, this area will boast a few more attractions,
according to Friedley.
A Mardi Gras Museum is to open by fall in Bossier and besides
exhibit and storage space, will have a courtyard for entertainment
Also, a renovation of a railroad depot is to result in the Red
River Valley Scenic Railroad Museum, featuring 26 train cars,
including a 1920 Erie Lackawanna series.
Two new golf courses are under construction. Stonebridge golf
course in North Bossier, an 18-hole, Fred Couples-designed course,
is scheduled to open in May.
In South Bossier, the Golf Course at the Oakes, a 27-hole
course, is to have the first nine holes available in late
The four casinos in the Shreveport/Bossier area account for as
much as 50% of the casino business in Louisiana. "On weekdays, we
have about 7,000 people per day, per casino," Friedley said.
The Shreveport/Bossier CTB continues to create programs to boost
arrivals. Efforts are being made to create commissionable packages
to draw both casino and family markets. Shreveport/Bossier CTB,
Phone: (800) 551-8682 or (318) 222-9391