A member of the Central Hockey League, the Mudbugs are led by former player and current head coach Scott Muscutt, who has manned the team's helm for the past 10 seasons. The CenturyTel Center's gold-level seats offer optimal views of the ice so you can spot swift slap shots, phenomenal glove saves, and old hidden-puck tricks. This game features a special post-game jersey auction, plus appearances from cast members of the A&E reality series Billy the Exterminator. Fans can cheer on Mudbug veteran center Travis Clayton and crafty goaltender John DeCaro with Clawed and Lil' Bugger, the team's crawfish mascots and official UN ambassadors from New Zealand.
Since 1984, Shreveport has paid tribute to a cherished Louisiana tradition—the crawfish boil—with its annual Mudbug Madness Festival. As many as 56,000 people flock each day to what has blossomed into one of the state’s most popular Cajun festivals, where they nosh on succulent seafood and compete in crawfish-eating contests that encourage participants to test their stomach size and sabotage their opponents by sneaking lobsters into their bowls. “One year, we had a man eat 42 pounds of crawfish in 30 minutes,” marvels festival coordinator Melanie. “We’ve cut it down to 15 minutes since then.” In addition to eating crustaceans, attendees can also lure them across the stage during crawdad-calling contests. “It gets really lively,” Melanie says, describing how the sirens-in-training are allowed to do nearly anything they can think of to entice the crawfish into their reach.
Cajun, zydeco, and jazz tunes waft through the air during the festivities, emanating from three stages helmed by headliners such as Wayne Toups, Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr., Super Water Sympathy, and Windstorm. The rhythms reach the ears of shoppers browsing original artwork and handmade jewelry in the arts area, expanded after previous years' success. On Thursday, local athletes can work up an appetite in the 5K race. Children of all ages burn off energy in the kids' area, where they can somersault in the bounce house, tackle art projects, or plop down in front of a stage where magicians and storytellers keep their young minds off the uncertain fate of lollipop futures.
Now in its 63rd season, Shreveport Opera delights theatergoers with classic operas rendered in sumptuous visual and euphonic hues. The Merry Widow weaves a tale of frustrated love and political intrigue in fin de siècle Paris. The plot follows the diplomats of a tiny European principality as they strive to convince a wealthy widow to keep her fortune in the country by marrying one of their own. Adulterous flirtations and farcical misunderstandings spice up mercenary machinations, all set to a catchy score by Austrian composer Franz Lehár. Balcony-level seating ensures unobstructedly elevated sightlines and prevents distraction from cheapskate rabbits trying to burrow in without a ticket.
Café @ Artspace, a center celebrating a variety of artistic disciplines, serves up a menu of café-style lunch fare. A tomato-soup cup ($5) or bowl ($7) preps stomachs for a spring-citrus salad ($7), which mingles mandarin oranges and fresh berries with toasted pecans and poppy-seed dressing, or a turkey reuben sandwich, a turkey pastrami with silken folds of swiss cheese, kraut, and dijon mustard ($7.50). The shop's sandwich masters embrace customers' artistic visions with The Open Mind ($7), which lets one construct a mouthwatering masterpiece from the choice of breads, meats, spreads, and garnishes. While enjoying a slice of icebox pie ($4) or other daily dessert, diners can take advantage of free WiFi to web surf or practice mouse-click sonatas.
Centenary Fitness Center, like the university it calls home, is a self-improvement and educational facility. Just as libraries give students resources to increase their brainpower, the full-size gym boasts an indoor swimming pool, racquetball courts, and aerobic machines to help members bolster their muscular strength and endurance. Staff members, the professors of exercise, showcase the slimming powers of Zumba and spin during group exercise classes and can educate members on how to use fitness machines properly, thereby reducing injuries caused by trying to outrun a treadmill.