1. Shreveport-Bossier makes really good beer.
Shreveport-Bossier is home to three craft breweries: Great Raft Brewing and Red River Brewing Company in Shreveport and Flying Heart Brewing & Pub just across the river in Bossier City. Louisiana’s craft beer scene is arguably the best that it’s ever been right now, and a number of local bars and restaurants make it a point to offer a wide variety of Louisiana beers on tap. You’ll definitely want to eat and drink with bowl sponsor Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar while you’re in town, and craft beer enthusiasts may want to consider a visit to Twisted Root Burger Company, Rotolo’s Craft & Crust, or PizzaRev for their uncommonly large selection of Louisiana brews.
Great Raft Brewing will be hosting an official after-party following the game, 4:30-10 p.m., and they’ll have just released one of their most-anticipated small batch beers of the year, Awkward Uncle – it’s a Belgian dark strong ale, and it is tasty.
2. The food is also really good.
Say what you will about bowl destinations in college football, but this much is true: There are a lot worse places to go bowling than a state with some of the best food in America. Louisiana is famous for gumbo, beignets, jambalaya, boudin and more – and we do them all pretty well here. Soak up the atmosphere and eat a Shrimp Buster at Herby-K’s, grab a seat near the pie case at Strawn’s Eat Shop and tuck into a slice of their world-famous strawberry pie, sample Shreveport’s unique take on stuffed shrimp at Orlandeaux’s Cafe or end up covered in powdered sugar from a basket of beignets at Marilynn’s Place.
If you’re a Temple fan, we’ll do our best to help you track down an acceptable cheesesteak, though we can’t guarantee that it’ll meet the approval of Coach Foley.
3. Speaking of food…there’s going to be a 6,000-pound pot of gumbo on game day.
All bowl games have game day activities. But do all bowl games have Louisiana culinary legend Chef John Folse preparing the largest pot of gumbo in history? During the Coca-Cola Fan Fest prior to kick-off, Chef Folse will be cooking and serving a 6,000-pound pot of gumbo. Those in attendance can purchase bowls for $5 apiece, with all proceeds benefiting the Fisher House Foundation, who build housing for veterans who have to travel to receive medical care. It’s a win-win.
The Coca-Cola Fan Fest will be held, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Check out our blog post on the record-setting gumbo for lots more details.
4. Someone in the stands is going to win a brand new Ford F-150.
This is just about the coolest game day promotion we’ve ever heard of:
5. There’s a lot to do here, including seven casinos.
Whether you’re into casino gaming, live music, family-friendly attractions, shopping, or the arts, Shreveport-Bossier offers plenty to see and do for a relatively small city that’s easy to get around. A few personal recommendations would include the new Shreveport Aquarium, which is fantastic, go-karts that’ll go 30+ miles per hour at Gator Raceway, Dirty Redd’s Jazz Thursday Night Jam Session at Noble Savage Tavern.
There’s a lot more to do in this perennially underrated town. If you’re looking for specific recommendations, leave a question in the comments and we’ll get back to you! You can also download the Official Visitors’ Guide to Shreveport-Bossier for lots more info.