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Stumble Upon the Fun in Caddo Common Park

Uncommon entertainment abounds with Culture Fest, Hoots & Hops, and Skeletal Survival & Monster Mash

Stumble Upon the Fun in Caddo Common Park

Aseana Foundation

Performance at Aseana Festival.

From the southernmost tip of the boot to the northwest corner of this Pelican State, Louisiana celebrates its cultures with a unique blend of food, festivals, and fun in every parish. But the place to get off your feet and dance to the beat of a drum, taste every scrumptious morsel of the food of sixteen varied cultures, and experience the nuances of life in other lands is Culture Fest in Caddo Common Park on Saturday, September 11. Put that together with Hoots & Hops, an outdoor nature festival and craft beer tasting on October 8; a chance to sample Caddo Parish’s wild wonders, a survival skills day camp, and a Monster Mash on October 11; and Sundays in the Park with Artists, and you will stumble upon just the kind of fun that is filling up the fall in northwest Louisiana’s newest urban greenspace, Caddo Common Park in downtown Shreveport.

Caddo Common Park opened in November 2019, transforming more than two acres of broken concrete slabs, weeds, and razor-wire fencing into an urban greenspace that includes tree-lined walking paths, a green lawn, a natural bioswale for rainwater retention, and Louisiana gardens. The infrastructure is now in place to complete Phase II park amenities, including an outdoor performance space and a smaller community pavilion, LED-lit metal and plexiglass artist-trees, and a mister station. The Culture Fest, Hoots & Hops, and Uncommon Weekends featuring Sundays in the Park with Artists are just a few of the free-to-the-public events for the park programmed by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) and Caddo Parks and Recreation.

“There is a new partnership between Caddo Parish Parks and Recreation and SRAC that is fueling fantastic, free excitement for people of all ages and from all areas of our corner of northwest Louisiana,” said Patrick Wesley, director of Caddo Parish Parks and Recreation. “Our team is proud to be able to bring the citizens of Caddo Parish to the new Caddo Common Park each week for exercise, fitness, wellness, and dynamic discoveries. This fall we are bringing the ‘animal ambassadors’ and other flora and fauna from our hidden treasure, the Walter B. Jacobs Memorial Nature Park, to downtown Caddo Common Park for everyone to see and experience, and to create an artwork to commemorate the interaction.”

One of the highlights of the fall SRAC programming, the Culture Fest, is presented with the Multicultural Center of the South. People throughout northwest Louisiana can get excited about taking a vicarious journey to one of sixteen different cultures to experience food, music, dance, and dress. Ron Hardy will organize a drum circle to illustrate how drums have been a part of the history of almost every culture for messaging and healing. The Walter B. Jacobs Park will bring owls to the park to talk about how these birds and other wildlife have symbolized dread, knowledge, wisdom, and death and played a role in religious beliefs in many Western cultures. There will be a market for purchasing treasures from other lands, plus food trucks, live entertainment, and dancing—all the excitement that goes into making Culture Fest a true culture celebration.

“The day Caddo Common Park opened, we said that it was destined to transform this long-blighted area into an ‘Uncommon Cultural Community’ and be the place to ‘stumble upon the fun,’ said Pam Atchison, SRAC executive director. “The Culture Fest is the fulfillment of that promise and SRAC’s way of carrying out its mission to produce, present, promote, engage, and educate the citizens of northwest Louisiana about the arts. The new Caddo Common Park is turning out to be a truly uncommon, fun place to maximize access to the arts for everyone.”