LSHOF hosting free Rockin’ River Fest concert Friday, June 25 on downtown riverbank

A free Friday evening riverbank concert. Food trucks, refreshments, free games for kids.

A spectacular, holiday-season level fireworks show set to sports-themed music, just after dark.

And just before the dazzling aerial show over Cane River Lake, on-stage introduction of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020 including worldwide celebrities Ronnie Coleman (eight-time Mr. Olympia bodybuilder), Sweet Lou Dunbar of the Harlem Globetrotters, and Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson.

It’s all part of the Friday evening, June 25 Rockin’ River Fest, a focal point of the LSHOF’s Class of 2020 Induction Celebration. The Rockin’ River Fest is presented by Rapides Regional Medical Center.

It’s on the Rue Beauport river bank stage in downtown Natchitoches, beginning at 6 with music lasting until 10:30, no admission required.

There’s an upscale party in an air-conditioned tent to the left of the stage. The Hancock-Whitney Taste of Tailgating shindig runs from 7-10, with guests enjoying tailgating-inspired food stations, specialty cocktails, free beer and wine, a silent auction, a photo booth, and music by DJ Geaux.

Tickets are $100 per person ($50 for under 21 partygoers) and must be purchased in advance through the website or by calling Gracen McDonald, the LSHOF Foundation executive assistant, at 318-554-9020.

The Taste of Tailgating party has filled to capacity each of the first two years of the Rockin’ River Fest. The crowd in and around the amphitheater, however, has no capacity limit, and the entertainment is cost-free.

At least three bands will perform, with feature act Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys bringing their rockin’ zydeco, high energy style to Louisiana’s oldest city and its fun-loving people.

“A young, Cajun band that’s definitely the real deal. These guys play Cajun music they way it’s supposed to be played, keeping true to their traditional heritage, yet pushing the limits of groove with a mature experimentation that’s guaranteed to keep you dancing,” wrote one reviewer.

They’ll be preceded by the area’s premiere show band, Johnny Earthquake and the Moon Dogs, who often have top flight musicians and vocalists making surprise appearances to team up with the exceptionally gifted singers and musicians who are mainstays of this ever-popular Natchitoches act fronted by the colorful Johnny Earthquake.

“Quite simply, Louisiana’s best show band!” wrote a reviewer for City Lights magazine.

The Rockin’ River Fest Kids Zone is presented by Louisiana Propane Dealers and will have free interactive games for children 4 and up.

The Friday night spectacular sets the tone for Saturday’s festivities, which begin with a free Junior Training Camp and include the Roundtable Luncheon and the Warmup Reception at the LSHOF Museum and the Induction Ceremony at the Natchitoches Events Center, televised live by Cox Sports Television at 7 p.m. on June 26.

Reservations are necessary for the Junior Training Camp by visiting or calling McDonald at 318-554-9020. Those are pathways for tickets to the luncheon and induction reception and ceremony.

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