SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A historic part of downtown Shreveport revitalization gave it a new purpose. We take you there for this week’s “Destination Louisiane.”
Just follow the music and you will find a new place to rock out and unwind.
This area was once abandoned by businesses of the past and dilapidated slowly over a generation. Until a few years ago when the City of Shreveport partnered with local groups to create Caddo Common Park. Structures were torn down and replaced with green space, seating, and a performance stage. The transformation earned a prestigious award from the Society of American Travel Writers.
“As people get used to us being in the park, used to it being a place where you can bring your family and your children then I think it’s going to naturally expand and I think people in the community are going to tell their friends,” said Joan Nerrettig, lead singer of The Jonitones.
The park now brings bands from across the region and the world. Including the Paul Brock Irish Band.
“It’s a country with very, very strong connections with America because Irish people have been immigrating to America for hundreds of years. There are many connections between our music,” said Paul Brock, founder of the Paul Brock Irish Band.
The open area park provides a great space to hear the music.
“I think it’s amazing and the venue is great. The weather is good. Couldn’t be better,” Bill Long, an attendee said.
Each weekend different functions take place including, dance recitals, jazz bands, and Thirsty Thursdays.
“We do a Thirsty Thursday and it’s going to have a bar Fatty Arbuckle’s is doing the bar. We have an art market that is behind you that has different artists selling their goods,” said Casey Jones, Shreveport Regional Arts Council
Caddo Common Park also provides a space for nonprofits.
Such as the Providence House hosting back-to-school bashes. During the summer, Shreveport Mutual Aid sets up to provide homecooked meals and tools for harm reduction from the extreme temperatures. Or ride out with SB Rides hosting bike rides starting at the park and traversing the city. Various festivals also take place to promote unity in the community.
“It feels good to come together. Everyone comes together and celebrates what makes our area great and listen to great music,” said Billy Anderson, organizer of 318 Fest.
The unique space is open for all to enjoy.
“Celebrate the beautiful things you have. The things that do belong to you. The things that make you proud,” said Cyrstalyn Nelson, an attendee.
And lots of opportunities for growth inside Caddo Common Park.