The state’s most spectacular sporting event of the summer takes place in Louisiana’s most historic and charming town, Natchitoches, Thursday through Saturday night with the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Induction Celebration.
Reservations for the free Junior Training Camp and four ticketed events are still available at LaSportsHall.com or by calling 318-238-4255. Two other free events require no registration.
The Class of 2020 includes world-famous Louisiana sports figures Ronnie Coleman and Phil Robertson, world-traveling Harlem Globetrotters legend Sweet Lou Dunbar, and nationally-acclaimed network sports broadcaster Tim Brando.
Pro Bowl cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman, NBA standout Kerry Kittles, Lady Techsters basketball great Angela Turner Johnson and iconic Monroe-Richwood high school football coach Mackie Freeze are also among the star-studded class.
The 2020 Induction Celebration begins Thursday at 3 with a nationally-televised (Cox Sports Television) afternoon press conference limited to media only.
Thursday’s first public event is a free welcome reception from 5-7 at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, located at 800 Front Street.
Friday’s schedule begins around lunchtime with the Hall’s BOM Bowling Bash pairing 2020 inductees and more sports celebrities, including past inductees, with bowlers at All-Star Lanes in Shreveport.
Friday evening brings a free riverbank concert — the third annual Rockin’ River Fest presented by Rapides Regional Medical Center with bands and fireworks over Cane River Lake in historic downtown Natchitoches. The 2020 induction class will be introduced just before the fireworks show shortly after 9 p.m.
Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys are the feature act, preceded by Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs, with surprise special guests, and other musicians beginning at 6.
Tickets are on sale for the Taste of Tailgating party, presented by Hancock-Whitney, in an air-conditioned tent near the stage.
Saturday morning brings the last free event, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Junior Training Camp, presented by the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, will be held on the Northwestern State campus. Up to 300 youth ages 8-17 will be participating at no charge.
Hall of Fame inductees will be the featured instructors for drills in football and basketball while healthy living initiatives and other positive lifestyle messaging will be presented to boys and girls, and Raisin’ Canes is providing a coupon for a free lunch to all the kids.
Campers need to be registered before Saturday on the LaSportsHall.com website, or by calling 318-238-4255. They should report to the Webb WRAC in the middle of the NSU campus between 8-8:45 a.m. Saturday with the camp running from 9-11.
A rollicking 90 minutes of storytelling will unfold Saturday from noon-1:30 at the Chateau St. Denis Hotel with the Roundtable Luncheon presented by the Tiger Athletic Foundation
The 2020 Induction Class will be celebrated in the annual Induction Ceremony presented by State Farm Agents of Louisiana, Saturday night at the Natchitoches Events Center.
Guests will first enjoy an array of appetizers from 5-6:45 at the nearby Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame museum, and can migrate to the Events Center starting at 6 to be in their seats for the 7 p.m. kickoff with the stirring Walk of Legends.
Inducted as winners of the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism will be LSU sports publicist Kent Lowe and Baton Rouge Advocate prep sports writer Robin Fambrough.
Opelousas native Joan Cronan, one of college sports’ most influential administrators in her career as athletics director at the University of Tennessee, will be inducted as the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award winner. She coached at Northwestern State in 1967-68.