On Saturday, June 27 at 6 p.m., the Northwest Louisiana Walk of Stars in downtown Shreveport will finally get to do something they’ve been hoping to do for years: they’ll induct Shreveport native and blues guitar superstar Kenny Wayne Shepherd. The induction will take place on the outdoor stage of the Red River District at 500 Clyde Fant Parkway. I spoke with John Lieberman, one of the lead organizers of the Northwest Louisiana Walk of Stars, about what guests should expect from the free, open-to-the-public induction ceremony.
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“We are asking people to maintain social distancing, wear facial masks. We’ll have hand sanitizer down there. I have four one-liter bottles that we’ll place strategically around the area,” Lieberman told me.
During normal times, an induction ceremony may include opportunities for autographs, selfies, or even an impromptu performance. But these are not normal times, unfortunately. The 2019 induction of Dak Prescott played out like the kind of meet-and-greet that Dallas Cowboys fans would pay big money for, with Prescott taking time to sign plenty of autographs and talk with young athletes.
But sometimes, you’ve just got to roll with the punches.
“We’ll give Kenny Wayne his award, he’ll make remarks, and then we’ll head into CoHab for Kenny Wayne to do the imprinting,” Lieberman said.
It’s a shame, but it’s also completely understandable that the entire group will not be allowed to enter CoHab to watch as Kenny Wayne casts his hands and feet in wet concrete. Only the family, media in attendance, and Northwest Louisiana Walk of Stars board members will be allowed to observe that process, due to occupancy restrictions placed on indoor spaces. The outdoors would be too humid for the concrete to set up correctly.
“Of course, he’s been on our list for quite some time. Earlier this year, his new album had just come out, and the general consensus was ‘This is the perfect time to induct him, let’s see if we can.’”
And, while this induction will be unlike any other, Lieberman still hopes that the public will come out to show support for one of Northwest Louisiana’s most acclaimed native sons. He also hopes that the public will consider donating in support of the Walk of Stars, which is entirely funded by donations.
“We have no other source of funding other than individual donations, and each of these inductions costs—at a minimum—about $1,000 to pull together, even with the generous support of Builders Supply and Classic Monuments, who donate the actual materials used,” Lieberman sad.
If you’d like to donate, you can learn how to do so here.
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