Saints anniversary exhibit opens Sept. 24 at Hall of Fame museum

The new exhibit Beyond Sunday: Fifty Years of the New Orleans Saints, at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, located at 800 Front Street in Natchitoches, opens late Saturday afternoon.

The public is invited, free of charge, to a reception Saturday at 5 p.m. with drinks and appetizers.

“The Saints are Louisiana and Louisiana is very much part of the Saints,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “We congratulate the organization on this milestone and look forward with anticipation to the Black and Gold’s next 50 years.”

The Saints 50th anniversary exhibit is housed in the Atmos Energy Gallery at the back of the first floor of the three-year-old museum at the traffic circle on Front Street.

It is undoubtedly the most impressive new sports exhibit prepared by the Louisiana State Museum system at the local museum.

“This was an exhibit in the works since before the museum opened in 2013, and it looks like it,” said Hall of Fame chairman Doug Ireland. “The professionals with the museum system have done a fantastic job telling the story of the Saints. You don’t have to be a Saints fan, or a football fan, to be very impressed by this, but if you are, you’re going to love it.”

Included are items loaned by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the New Orleans Saints, fans, collectors and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Among the greats whose items are showcased are Archie Manning, Drew Brees, Jimmy Taylor and Marcus Colston, with a special exhibit telling the compelling story of Steve Gleason and the Saints’ return from Hurricane Katrina all the way to their Super Bowl triumph and today’s team.

The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, with children 12-18, seniors and military personnel discounted, and kids under 12 admitted free. School groups also are admitted free.

The exhibition runs through September 2017.