Red River Revel
Annual festival welcomes art lovers of all ages
Growing up as a self-described “military brat," Christy Long has lived in places such as Hawaii, England, Japan ... and Shreveport-Bossier.
But no matter which far-flung corner of the world to which she moved after leaving Northwest Louisiana, Long has always been fond of an event she attended as a fourththrough eighth-grader.
Now, she is that event’s executive director. “The is my whole heart,” Long said. “It is one of the most important things to me because it is so important to our community.”
One of Louisiana’s oldest festivals, the 44th Revel will be held Sept. 28-Oct. 6 at Festival Plaza in downtown Shreveport. The nine-day event will showcase local and national visual and performing artists.
And food. “This year’s theme is 'Meet Me at the Revel,'" Long said. “We feel this is the place where anybody and everybody can come together. There is something for everybody here.”
Even though this is Long’s first year in charge, she has worked with the Revel 17 years. She knows just because the Revel has enjoyed popularity, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.
“I don’t feel like we need to re-invent the wheel, because the wheel is good,” Long said. “I think we might need to oil some of the spokes and kind of evolve just a little – or grow. Maybe grow is the right word.”
To that end, you will notice some new attractions this year. One that Long is especially excited about is the Emerging Artists space. Thirty-two artists will – in groups of eight – showcase their work over a couple of days.
“These are artists who are not in galleries – not famous – that may think they are not good enough or strong enough to be in the Revel as a regular artist. We are offering for them to come here and display their art and test the waters of the market.”
Hoping to avoid the “perception is reality” line of thinking, Long believes this new attraction will help change how some people view the Revel.
“Being that Festival Plaza was designed for the Revel, certain tents have to be in certain spaces. So, every year with the traditional look of the Revel with our striped tents, people tend to perceive that it’s the same thing. That’s logical. That makes sense. But it’s not the same thing every year. Having all of these new artists will definitely give the public something new to look at and new people to see.”
Children will be happy to hear that one of their favorite activities – the Brookshire’s Mini-Grocery Store – is returning.
“You get a mini-shopping cart, you get a list of groceries, and you go around the grocery store and find the items on that list, you bring it to the cashier, they ring it up, and you get a receipt,” Long explained. “It teaches them responsibility. It’s educational in so many ways because it teaches them to be responsible to get what’s on their list and teaches them how to find it, because there are different sections of the store, and it teaches them how much it costs to grocery shop.”
No matter your age, everyone loves to eat at the Revel. This year, you can enjoy the usual favorites – funnel cakes, a muffuletta pizza, and chicken and waffles. However, you can also try some new items, like a Neon Rainbow Cheese Quesadilla. And for dessert, you can sink your teeth into a Carameladilla or a Smores-adilla.
There will be music throughout the Revel, with four headliners performing:
• Bishop Gunn (opening night): A Southern rock band, “They just came off tour with the Rolling Stones, and they are about to start with Guns and Roses,” Long said.
• Chase Bryant (Thursday night), a country music singer.
• Macy Kate (Friday night): “She’s a really awesome up-and-coming pop singer,” Long said.
Saturday night, Oct. 6, the Revel will close with what Long calls “an all-out Revel/Prize Fest huge community party for the album release of (Shreveport-based band) the Seratones. We’re having a second-line brass band from New Orleans, a parade throughout the site, and Seratones.”
“I’ve been booking the music here for more than 10 years, and this is probably one of the best lineups we’ve ever had,” Long proclaimed.
One change to this year’s Revel will keep you from enjoying lunch the first three weekdays. Due to construction work at Riverview Hall, the Fourth-Grade Program – where fourth-graders from Caddo and Bossier parishes take part in the Revel’s Art Education Program – will be held in Festival Plaza. That means
Monday through Wednesday the Revel won’t open to the public until 5 p.m.
The Revel has become a staple of Shreveport-Bossier. It’s an event which welcomes adults, children and families. It welcomed Long many years ago, and she is working to make sure the Revel continues to be a “welcoming” event.
“The Revel is a great tradition, but I don’t want people to think it is traditionally stale,” Long said. “I want them to know that at the Revel, there is something new every year. There are lots of fun things to do, and it is accessible to everyone.”
To learn more about the Red River Revel – including hours and admission costs – you may visit www.redriverrevel.com.Red River Revel Arts Festival
Sept. 28-Oct. 6, in downtown Shreveport’s Festival Plaza located at 101 Crockett Street in downtown Shreveport. For complete festival details, visit www.RedRiverRevel.com.
Attracting more than 80,000 visitors annually, the largest outdoor arts festival in North Louisiana features nonstop live music on two stages, more than 100 visual arts booths, including 32 emerging artists, and more than 20 food vendors. Admission is $5 on weekends and after 5:30 p.m. on weekdays, free on Monday, and free with valid military ID. Reveler Passes, which can be used for admission every day of the festival, may be purchased for $10.
Highlights of the live music schedule include: Mississippi-based Americana quartet Bishop Gunn, 8:30 p.m., Sept. 28; Celtica Pipes Rock!, 8 p.m., Oct. 1 and 6:30 p.m., Oct. 3; Christian indie rock group Colony House, 7:45 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 2; upand-coming country star Chase Bryant, 8:30 p.m., Oct. 3; ABC’s Rising Star contender Macy Kate, 8:45 p.m., Oct. 4; and Shreveport-based rock group Seratones, 8:30 p.m., Oct. 5. Local and regional favorites scheduled to perform include Front Cover Band, Buddy Flett, Dirtfoot, Windstorm, Lance Thompson, As You Were, and New Breed Brass Band.
Clementine Hunter In The Spotlight At Revel 44!
Revel patrons can see a special exhibit celebrating the life and art of Clementine
Hunter during the opening and closing weekends at The JR Performance Gallery. The exhibit includes some of her original work, a short documentary film, educational panels on loan from Melrose Plantation, as well as a rare collection of 25 posters from exhibits that have celebrated the art of Clementine Hunter. This will be the first time this rare collection of posters has ever been publicly displayed.
The award-winning film documentary, "Clementine Hunter's World," was shown this past spring at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., and will have limited screenings at JR Gallery, 624 Commerce St.
According to Christy Long, executive director of the Red River Revel, "In May of this year, the Louisiana Legislature passed a resolution designating Oct. 1 annually as ‘Clementine Hunter Day' in Louisiana. We think the Red River Revel Arts Festival is the perfect venue to host this inaugural celebration of the first Clementine Hunter Day in Louisiana."
Tickets at Revel Admission 2 (corner of Crockett and Commerce).
• Screenings Sept. 28: 2, 4 and 6 p.m. Admission is a Revel Pass plus $10 and includes the exhibit, the screening, a cash bar, a panel discussion with the filmmaker and author.
• Screenings Sept. 20: 2 and 4 p.m. Admission is a Revel Pass + $10 and includes the exhibit, the screening, a cash bar, a panel discussion with the filmmaker and author Art Shiver, author Tom Whitehead and Caddo Parish Fine Arts Administrator Henry Price.
• Screenings (only) Oct. 5: 2, 4 and 6 p.m.
• Screenings (only) Oct. 6: 2 and 4 p.m. Admission is a Revel Pass plus $5.