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Monday, March 30, 2015

Promoting Culture

Holiday in Dixie events set to kickoff

Holiday in Dixie will be back April 10-19 in downtown Shreveport. Presented by the Ark-La-Tex Ambassadors, the Holiday in Dixie festival is an effort to sustain the heritage of the Shreveport-Bossier City community.

Cindy Smith, president of Kalmbach Smith Meadows and agent of record for Ark-La-Tex Ambassadors, said she is especially excited about this year’s Holiday in Dixie.

“Holiday in Dixie is still alive and going strong today, recognizing and celebrating the signing of the Louisiana Purchase and the arrival of spring,” Smith said. “Families living in the Ark-La-Tex area see Holiday in Dixie as a celebration of good, old-fashioned family fun!” The carnival consists of myriad activities including the Cotillion and Plantation Ball, the classic parade in downtown Shreveport, the ever popular KTBS Treasure Hunt and, of course, the 10-day carnival, is complete with rides and tasty carnival foods such as funnel cakes and cotton candy. Armbands for the carnival rides will cost anywhere from $22 to $25, depending on the day and time of the week.

“It’s the goal of the Ark-La-Tex Ambassadors to sponsor events to promote cultural enrichment, economic development and a spirit of diverse community involvement that brings all of the Ark-La-Tex cities and population together in its celebration of spring in the South,” Smith said. “This festival represents the tradition of our Southern heritage and reminds us of the simple joys sometimes lost in today’s fast-paced world. Different from the state fair, the 10-day carnival offers a smaller, community-type festival and is one of few such events still in existence. Take advantage of this opportunity to unwind and have some fun with your closest friends!” One of the new elements of this year’s Holiday in Dixie includes a special performance from The U.S. Air Force Band of the West, who will perform at 7 p.m. April 14.

Smith said she is looking forward to the performance by the U.S. Air Force Band of the West. “This band travels more than 125,000 miles annually to entertain military and civilian audiences throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. This is a first for Shreveport Holiday in Dixie,” Smith said.

Another new aspect to this year’s festival is that April 19 is now Simple Church Day. The Simple Church will hold its regular Sunday service in Festival Plaza and then enjoy the day’s festivities. The community is welcome to participate on that day, whether they are church members or not.

Madge Davis, executive director of the Ark-La-Tex Ambassadors, said she is also looking forward to the festival and all the fun people she gets to meet every time she goes. She’s especially excited about the return of “The Big Scene!” which is an element of the annual Classic Parade that takes place at 5:30 p.m. April 11.

“Our Classic Parade, with a Doodah component, joins together again with the Shreveport Regional Arts Council’s UNSCENE! and The Texas Street Makers Fair to bring ‘The Big Scene’ back to downtown,” Davis said. “April 11 will be a full day of shopping at the Makers Fair, live music and arts, and then will conclude with the Holiday in Dixie Parade starting at 5:30. It all takes place around the [Shreveport Municipal Memorial] Auditorium and the 800 block of Texas, with the parade rolling through downtown.”

Whether one comes for the food, the shopping, the musical entertainment or the adrenaline rush of the carnival rides, there is sure to be a little something for everyone, Davis said. “Attending Holiday in Dixie is a great, economical way to celebrate springtime with the entire family,” Davis said. “We’re celebrating our great community and highlighting why we love living in the Ark-La-Tex!” – Betsy St. Amant


Performances from popular acts include Kings of Pleasure on April 10, Ambush on April 11, along with Two Tone Blues and Will Maranto & the Usual Suspects. Earshot Graffiti will perform April 16, while April 17, crowds will hear with the musical stylings of Twang Darkly and the Matthew Davidson Band. Doc Woody and Pocket Change will perform April 18.

Want to go?

Holiday in Dixie kicks off at 5 p.m. April 10 in Festival Plaza and runs through April 19. Go to arklatexambassadors.com/ for more information.


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