Friday, December 28, 2012

New Years Eve 2013 Events in Shreveport-Bossier

How are you going to spend New Year's Eve this year?

Here's our annual roundup of local events in the Shreveport-Bossier area.  Email me with info if I've missed something good!

Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City will have a rooftop party featuring Windstorm while inside, at CMT, Cody Cooke and the Bayou Outlaws will be performing

Lake Street Dancehall in downtown Shreveport will have Black Oak Arkansas performing.  Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.  Lake Street is a non-smoking bar - you've got to step outside if you want to smoke.

Fatty Arbuckles downtown, in the Red River District, has Gashcat and Ghost Foot kicking off at 10:00.  There's a small cover charge.

Harrah's Casino in Bossier City will host their annual free celebration and fireworks show starting at 8:00.  The Spazmatics and DJ Love will keep the music going.

If you are looking for somewhere to usher in 2013, join us at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs for a FREE New Year’s Eve celebration. The fun starts at 8 p.m. with the Party in the Pavilion. Dance the night away to all your favorites from the 80’s with the Spazmatics. DJ Love will also make waves with all of your dance favorites from today and yesterday! We will count down to 2013 and when the clock strikes midnight we will celebrate with showers of confetti and party favors. Then at 12:15 a.m., Fireworks will light up the sky above Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. Come join us for a night of FREE Fun and Fireworks!

Eldorado Casino in Shreveport is going Moroccan for New Years sponsored by Ultimate and Gray Goose Vodka.  There will be hookahs on every table.  You can reserve a table with bottle service or buy a $20 wrist band for entry.

Paris… New York… London… all great places to ring in the new year. Save yourself the trip, because this December 31, Eldorado brings the global vibe to you with a red carpet event like no other. Celebrity and Allure Ultra Lounge are raising the bar on Shreveport-Bossier nightlife again this New Year’s Eve with two clubs for the price of one. Celebrate in classic New Year’s Eve style at Celebrity Lounge, Sponsored by Ultimat Vodka, and rock the exotic as Allure Ultra Lounge and Grey Goose Vodka go Morrocan, including hookahs for every table. Reserve your table with bottle service or get your $20 entry wrist band today – space WILL GO FAST. Wrist bands are $35 after December 25. Triggerproof performs live. Sophisticated nightlife attire required.

Rockin Dopsie and the Zydeco Twisters will be at Sam's Town in Shreveport.

Chicky's Boom Boom Room on Texas Street downtown will feature Windstorm.

The Robinson Film Center in Shreveport is screening Bridget Jones's Diary and will serve dinner at 8:00.  Call for reservations.

Holiday Lanes in Bossier sold out their New Year's event last year.  This year they're expanding options with an early family event and a later which includes a breakfast platter, unlimited intergalactic glow-in-the-dark bowling, and champagne at midnight.

The American Legion on Cross Lake has a party featuring The Rockin' Redeyes.  Ticket are $40.00 per couple or $25.00 single.  Fun starts at 8:00.

SciPort in Shreveport hosts their New Years at Noon event from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Wear your pajamas and watch the ball drop.  There will be a party hat contest and other events.

Is your bedtime way before midnight? Do you wish there was a way to bring in the New Year a few hours earlier? Then, come celebrate New Years at Noon at Sci-Port! Dress in your party pajamas (family appropriate, please), and watch the ball drop right here at Sci-Port, along with a thousand balloons! There will also be an old-to-new party hat contest: you'll turn your old trash or recyclables into a new party hat! Paper yo-yos, noisemakers, a Space Dome dance party, sundials and face painting will all be part of the excitement. Be prepared to party like it's (almost) 2013 at Sci-Port! 

If you want to venture out of the city a bit, drive over to Jefferson, Texas and catch the very hot Soulfish Blues Band at Auntie Skinners.

And if you plan to drink, please get a designated driver or call a cab.  Put some of these numbers into your cell phone before you head out.

Ace Cabs:  318- 425-3325
Action Taxi:  318- 222-8294
Golden Stripe Cab Service 318- 675-0411
Yellow Checker Cab 318- 621-9823

If you're looking for some good places to eat before you head out, SIGIS recommends these fine local restaurants.  We have plenty of chain restaurants, too.

The Anvil Bar and Grill on Line Avenue is fabulous.  You can get a delicious bone-in ribeye or fresh fish of the day as well as your favorite Italian specialties.  The daily specials are always fabulous.  I recommend the shrimp and grits.  Reservations recommended.

Marilynn's Place on Fern has great po-boys, red beans and rice, shrimp creole,  and terrific daily specials.

The Blind Tiger in downtown Shreveport is a terrific, casual restaurant and bar with great burgers and crab cakes.  They offer a variety of fried seafood, shrimp, and sandwiches.

For a fine dining experience, try L'Italiano in Bossier City on Barksdale Blvd. Try one of the daily specials or tradition Italian specialties.  The fresh fish is always good and don't miss out on the stuffed mushrooms!  Reservations recommended.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Having a Merry Christmas and Dodging Germs

Merry Christmas!

Mr. SIGIS and I are all settled in for the evening and are awaiting the 24 hour marathon of  A Christmas Story.

I've got a turkey breast soaking in brine for tomorrow's dinner and the breakfast casserole is sitting in the fridge ready to go in the oven.

We did our family Christmas this past Saturday; my daughter and her husband drove over from Dallas with the new baby and we had a small gathering at my house.  Much smaller compared to last year's big shindig, but some of the family opted to stay in Dallas this year.  I boxed up their gifts and got them in the mail in time to arrive for Christmas.

I can't see my mom because her wing at The Glen is on quarantine due to a stomach virus outbreak.  It's hard not seeing her on Christmas but at least she got to see her great grandson before the outbreak!  Hopefully that will all clear up soon and I can get in to see her.

My college student is sick, too.  He came down with a flu-like virus that has him feeling like crud; we spent the morning at the doctor's office and he's now on bed rest.

I've invited my brother over for Christmas tomorrow; he couldn't attend our gathering Saturday because HE was sick!

Mr. SIGIS and I are washing our hands a lot, taking lots of vitamins.  We are hoping none of this crud hits us.

Meanwhile, here's hoping you are all having a wonderful Christmas with family and friends!

Here's a cute video I found on Facebook - for the dog lovers:

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Take a Trip to the 2012 Natchitoches Christmas Festival

I've lived in Louisiana all of my life, let's just say over 50 years, and I've never gone to the Natchitoches Christmas festival before Christmas.  We've been after Christmas before and we've seen the lights, but I've never gone and seen the fireworks and the crowds.

Oh goodness the crowds.  Now I know why I haven't done this before.

The Natchitoches Christmas festival is grand; it's wonderful for the city, for tourism, and for the state.  It draws people from miles away through the entire month of December.  The festival first began in 1926 and kicks off with a Christmas parade and the turning on of the lights.  It draws over 100,000 people each year who leave the city flush with tourism dollars.  Like I said, it's wonderful.

But I hate crowds.

Hate them.

Yet I had some shopping to do, and silly me, I thought I could just cruise through the Front Street shops like always and knock out my shopping in an afternoon.  I have no idea why I thought this could happen.

Our first clue that we were screwed was when we had to park some four blocks from downtown and even then had to "urban offroad" onto a grassy hill to park the Jeep.  And we were damn lucky to get that.

One of the better decisions of the day was to go ahead and eat.  We went to our favorite, The Pioneer Pub, for burgers, pub fries, and beer.  Business was brisk and steady.  We are long time fans of "the Pub."

All of the food at the Pub is made fresh and the extra effort pays off.  Everything we've tried there is excellent.  It was, of course all decorated for Christmas complete with stockings hung by the fireplace:

Our first shopping stop was Kaffie-Frederick Hardware Store.  

It was way too crowded.  I could not move.  Every aisle was filled with streams of people.  Again, this is a good thing for Natchitoches, but not a good thing for me.  I found the Michael Henry books, though, and replaced my copy of Atmosphere of Violence which I have loaned out to someone.

Steve found a pillow he liked:

and we looked at some unusual Christmas trees.

I liked this vase a lot.  It is quite tall and very heavy.  It looks sort of like a candy cane:

I didn't buy it, but I liked it.

I picked up a couple of gifts and we paid up and got out.  I love that they use the old cash register - no computerized model for them!

The buggy tours were working overtime; it was over an hour wait in a very, very long line for a ride:

We walked right on past that.

We found a new antique store (open since April) on St. Denis street: Tres Bien Antiques.  I loved this store partly because it wasn't filled with tourists.  I bought several gifts in there and Steve found a bar for sale:

It was an impressive set up, but who in the world has the room for that?  It was huge.

The best part of the day was finding our old friend J. Michael Kenny right next door with his own new antique shop!  We were crushed when he closed his shop, The Book Merchant, this year.  But he's back, and has a nice antique shop.  He even kept his old sign:

That sign is iconic to anyone who loves Natchitoches and Front Street.

The next thing we had to do was stand in a restroom line (all the portable facilities were down by the river and you had to pay $5.00 to get down there).  The shops all have signs that say "No Public Restrooms" so you're forced to stand in a very long line (if you're female) at the end of Front Street.  By the time I got out of that line it was dark already (30 minutes) and we had to hurry and finish our shopping.

We did finally pony up our $10.00 and go down by the river to see the lights.

There were so many people down there you could not walk.  Wall to wall.  People were line up 30 deep in front of the food vendors while others were laying on blankets and sitting in lawn chairs by the river waiting on fireworks.

But the lights are wonderful.

Grand for Natchitoches.  We threaded our way through the masses, went back to the Pub for a beer and some fried alligator bites, then hit the road for home.

Next year, I'm going between Christmas and New Years.  No crowds.  You can still see the lights and you can walk along the river without masses of humanity in your way.

But, everybody ought to do it at least once!  It's a great family event and great fun.

Natchitoches, I love you, but I'll see you next year.

Take a Trip to the 2012 Defenders of Liberty Air Show at BAFB
Take a Springtime Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden, LA
Take a Trip to Logansport, Louisiana
Take a Trip to the Lock and Dam on Red River
Take a Trip to the 2012 Barkus and Meoux Parade
Take a Christmas Shopping Trip to Second Hand Rose in Minden
Take a Trip to the Fourth Annual Barksdale AFB Oktoberfest 
Take a Trip to Grand Cane's Fifth Annual Pioneer Trade Day
Take a Trip to the 2011 Highland Jazz & Blues Festival
Take an Autumn Trip to Jefferson, Texas
Take a Fall Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to the 8th Air Force Museum at Barksdale Air Force Base
Take a Summertime Trip to Grand Cane
Take a Trip to Desoto Parish
Take a Summer Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Melrose Plantation 
Take a Trip to Ed Lester Farms and a Random Antique Stop
Take a Trip to the Norton Art Gallery and the Masters of Cuban Art Exhibit
Take a Trip to Natchitoches to See the Christmas Lights
Take a Trip to the Third Annual BAFB Oktoberfest 
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Oakland Plantation
Take a Trip to Jefferson, Texas
Oktoberfest at BAFB

Monday, December 10, 2012

National Lager Day 2012

Today is National Lager Day!  A holiday after my own heart.

Sam Adams brewery is encouraging everyone to check in on your favorite social networking site and "then log off, just for a bit. Shut off your phone, your laptop, your tablet and anything else that will distract you from enjoying an evening with your friends and join Samuel Adams in celebrating National Lager Day with a Samuel Adams Boston Lager, free from distractions!"

While the Sam Adams event is technically the "Boston Lager Log Off Event,"  I'm celebrating tonight with a nice Sam Adams Winter Lager.  I'm pretty sure that still counts.

To learn more about lagers or events for today, go here

Meanwhile, I'm logging off as directed.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Remember This Moment

Right now is as good as it's going to get for many years to come.  Remember this moment.  

When the lemmings all start blaming the "obstructionist Republicans" in January for taking us off the fiscal cliff, remember this:

To be fair to the Secretary and the President, we didn’t just put together a bill that included his $2 trillion tax increase – we also added the almost $400 billion in new tax stimulus measures he wanted as well. This bill contained a continuation of the payroll tax holiday, a 10 percent credit for new wages that will go to businesses big and small, and it included a fix to one of the many flawed provisions of Obamacare – an expansion of a tax credit for businesses that no one uses. This proposal reflected exactly what was in the President’s budget and his various submissions to Congress.

That is Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell venting a little frustration as he explains that Harry Reid would not allow Obama's fiscal cliff plan to come up for a vote on the Senate floor.

Apparently, near total capitulation by the Republicans is not enough.

This screen shot from Drudge just about tells it all:

Go.  Let.them.go.  Hurry up, even. 

Bernard Goldberg wrote the most delicious rant about this.  He fully acknowledges that those nasty, obstructionist republicans will be blamed no matter what:

We know that you, the American people, will blame us, the Republican Party if we go over the cliff.  We know you will blame us when we slip into another recession and millions of Americans lose their jobs.  We know that if a giant meteor falls out of the sky and kills a pussy willow in Wyoming you will blame us for that too.  Good thing we no longer care what you think.

There's no question.  Never mind that Obama has increased government spending to unheard of levels.  It's the Republicans fault!  George Bush's fault! 

I swear, they still say that.  They do.

More Goldberg:

 Sure, this will cause a lot of pain and suffering.  Too bad I’ve reached the point where I don’t care anymore.  Barack Obama doesn’t understand how the economy works and neither do the slugs who voted for him.  They deserve each other – and the consequences of their actions.

That's truly where I am with this - just let it go.  We're all going down the tubes together whether we want to or not.  

And it won't matter whose fault it is when it's all over.  They'll still blame the Republicans, of course, but it won't matter.  You can remind them that obstructionist majority leader Harry Reid didn't even have the cajones to bring Obama's plan to the floor, but they won't care.

Just as long as the millionaires those making over $250,000 are taxed to hell and back.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Find a Lifeboat

The fiscal cliff negotiations have left me totally cold.  As far as I'm concerned, let it go.  Just let it go.  Do a complete Thelma and Louise at warp speed and hang on.

This is what America voted for in November - at least, enough to maintain the status quo, anyway. 

On November 6, Americans affirmed their willingness to pay higher taxes, grow government, demonize the successful, and support the 48% who won't or can't work. 

So let them have it. 

All you can do at this point is to find a lifeboat.  Face it: the Titanic is taking on water faster than we can bail it out now, and all you can do is figure out how you can best survive.

It won't be any better in four more years, either.  By then the Democrats, if they haven't already, will have cemented their dependent-voter bloc and the progressive agenda will be irreversible. 

I'm watching many of my conservative blogs gnash their teeth and continue to try and hold the line for conservatism, but I think it's over.  I'm not "disheartened"; it's just the reality we now face. 

You can expect Republicans in Washington to continue to "compromise" and bail on their principles; you will continue to hear people like tax cheat Tim Geithner blame the Republicans for what is about to happen, and you can expect Obama to continue to do nothing in the way of leadership. 

I've been working for the past four years to pay down my debt and make preparations for the economic apocalypse that we now face.  I'm not ready to go into the bunker with the bottled water and canned tuna fish just yet, but I think it's time to start looking for a lifeboat.

We're up to our asses in alligators right now and the worst is yet to come.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Take a Trip to the 2012 Grand Cane Pioneer Christmas Parade and Trade Day

One of the best ways to get into the spirit of the Christmas season is to attend a small town Christmas parade.

The Historic Village of Grand Cane held their annual Pioneer Christmas Parade and Trade Day today; it was a beautiful clear day that felt more like late spring than December 1.  We pulled the top down on the Jeep and enjoyed the drive as we dashed over for the 11:00 parade.

We thoroughly enjoyed last year's festival so we decided to make the trip again this year.  Grand Cane is a tiny town with a huge heart.

There are no motorized vehicles in this parade (thus the name Pioneer Parade); there are lots of mules and horses though!

When we arrived the crowd was gathering and staking out their parade spots:

(Click on any of the pictures to enlarge and clarify)

We wandered around looking at some of the shops while we waited.

There have been a few changes since our last visit.  The quilt and fabric shop is now at the south end of the main drag:

Many of the shop owners were dressed in period costume:

These ladies were selling t-shirts, sweat shirts, books on local history and raffle tickets for a grand treasure chest:

I bought five chances on this chest which was filled with gift certificates, art, toys, a blanket, etc.  Naturally I did not win:

In the old bank building we found a display of railroad memorabilia:

A little closer look:

This cute young fella was interested in the antique tools on display:

Grand Cane is a tiny village; at its peak the population was about 500.  It's located in DeSoto Parish and was founded on the crossroads of La. 171 and 3015.  Its proximity to the railroad led to its prosperity where a downtown business district developed.  The Great Depression and the demise of the Texas and Pacific railway pretty much did the town in by the 1950s.  Now, with the Haynesville Shale, the oil business, and the work of some dedicated preservationists, the town is resurgent.  It's a favorite stop of ours in our day trip rotation.

As the crowd was growing for the parade, we went inside the DeSoto Arts Council and did a little shopping.

I bought this cute mini-canvas of a pelican and this hand carved wooden Santa.  The Santa is from woodcarver Joe Hartley of Bayou Creations:

Steve thinks he looks a little oriental, but I like him.

The parade was led by local community leaders and plenty of horses and mules.

Lots of covered wagons:

The children scrambled into the street to gather the candy thrown by people in the parade:

Beautiful horses:

I liked this little puppy in a saddle bag (I know it's not really a saddle bag...let's call it a puppy bag):

Cute little dog.  He slept most of the way.

After the parade the smell of bar-b-que and good food lured us to the town square where we found this gentleman grilling turkey legs:

Here's the obligatory "Steve petting a dog" picture.  This bulldog was dressed in his Georgia gear as were his people:

We settled on food: Steve got a chopped beef sandwich and I got chili cheese nachos:

After eating we browsed the vendor booths.  I bought one of these bird feeders; it's a simple idea and the gentleman selling them was really nice.  He sold me when he pointed out how easy to clean they are and how they are less likely they are to make the birds sick because they don't get all gunked up like plastic bird feeders.

I loved this old Chesterfield sign.  That's my mom's brand; it's a cool looking sign.  They wanted $100 for it and I had no place for it so I left it there.

I was happy to see the fried pie vendor back this year:

Steve got a crawfish pie and I got a peach pie:

That pie was right out of the fryer and was too hot to eat but boy was it good!

We listened to the Blake Brothers Bluegrass Band play a couple of tunes inside the playhouse; they played "Beulah Land" which was just gorgeous.  I took a couple of pictures but they came out blurry.  Naturally.

Inside the playhouse, though, I found the quilting ladies:

We were sad to learn earlier this year of the closing of The Raven bookstore.  We loved Vanessa's shop and always stopped there when we visited Grand Cane.  It's been a tough year for indy booksellers.  We lost The Book Merchant in Natchitoches this year and now The Raven.  I hate it.

In the shop where The Raven was is now an antique shop called The Wanderer.  The shop is owned by Hannah Roark who also features her own pottery and art in the shop.  Hannah told us she officially opened on Black Friday and I have my fingers crossed for her success.

 I loved her window display; the life sized dancing Santa had me mesmerized.  

She's got a great mix of old and new in the shop:

I loved the Caddo Fence sign, but again, no place to put it.  It was $15 and I thought that was a steal.  I probably should have bought it.

Instead I bought this precious, old pug pillow:

Grand Cane is a sweet little town and really knows how to put on a fun Christmas festival.  We will be back soon as we are anxious to try Nonni's Place which has opened since our last visit.  We smelled some tasty steaks cooking as we walked back to the Jeep today!

If you're looking for a day trip from the Shreveport-Bossier area, be sure to put the Historic Village of Grand Cane on your list.  Grand Cane is about 25 miles south of Shreveport and 8 miles north of Mansfield on Highway 171.

You can keep up with events in Grand Cane on their Facebook page.

The SIGIS Take a Trip Series:
Take a Trip to the 2012 Defenders of Liberty Air Show at BAFB
Take a Springtime Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden, LA
Take a Trip to Logansport, Louisiana
Take a Trip to the Lock and Dam on Red River
Take a Trip to the 2012 Barkus and Meoux Parade
Take a Christmas Shopping Trip to Second Hand Rose in Minden
Take a Trip to the Fourth Annual Barksdale AFB Oktoberfest 
Take a Trip to Grand Cane's Fifth Annual Pioneer Trade Day
Take a Trip to the 2011 Highland Jazz & Blues Festival
Take an Autumn Trip to Jefferson, Texas
Take a Fall Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to the 8th Air Force Museum at Barksdale Air Force Base
Take a Summertime Trip to Grand Cane
Take a Trip to Desoto Parish
Take a Summer Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Melrose Plantation 
Take a Trip to Ed Lester Farms and a Random Antique Stop
Take a Trip to the Norton Art Gallery and the Masters of Cuban Art Exhibit
Take a Trip to Natchitoches to See the Christmas Lights
Take a Trip to the Third Annual BAFB Oktoberfest 
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Oakland Plantation
Take a Trip to Jefferson, Texas
Oktoberfest at BAFB