Free Welcome Reception Aug. 26 kicks off 2021 LSHOF Induction Celebration

Music, food, friends, in a beautiful, big-air conditioned venue, and it’s free? That’s how the upcoming 2021 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration begins its three-day party next Thursday, Aug. 26.

The La Capitol Federal Credit Union Welcome Reception is free and open to all from 5-7 p.m. inside the world-class Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, located at the Front Street traffic circle.

The Welcome Reception offers a casual vibe with tasty hors d’ouevres, refreshing drinks, lively music and the chance to meet and mingle with the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021 inductees and their family members as they arrive to begin the three-day Induction Celebration next Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

La Capitol FCU is the longest-standing corporate partner for the Hall of Fame’s annual festivities, hosting the welcome reception every year since the inductions returned to Natchitoches in 2003. Since the Hall of Fame museum’s grand opening in 2013, the party’s started in the two-story, 27,500-square foot facility whose design has drawn worldwide architectural acclaim.

The Aug. 26 evening reception provides guests the chance to see the new display items honoring the 2021 inductees, while meeting the sports heroes and socializing. There’s no need to dress to impress – this is not a coat-and-tie evening.

It’s the first of seven events. There’s also a free Rockin’ River Fest concert Friday night, Aug. 27, featuring one of Louisiana’s top country rock bands, Parish County Line. Also free of charge for kids – the LSHOF Junior Training Camp on Saturday morning, Aug. 28.

For information on all the events and registration (required for the camp), visit LaSportsHall.com or call 318-238-4255. State COVID-19 protocols will be observed during each indoor event during the weekend.

The 2021 LSHOF inductees are headlined by New Orleans Saints star receiver Marques Colston, Major League Baseball All-Star Rickie Weeks from Southern University, and three of LSU’s greatest competitors – basketball’s Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, football stalwart Glenn Dorsey and national-champion track coach Pat Henry.

The LSHOF Class of 2021 also showcases Natchitoches native and 1980 Bassmaster Classic champion Villis “Bo” Dowden, chosen as one of the 35 greatest pro anglers of all-time in a joint ESPN Outdoors/BASS package in 2004.

Baton Rouge native Courtney Blades Rogers, considered one of college softball’s best pitchers of all time at Nicholls and Southern Mississippi, is the second player from her sport to be inducted. Another inductee is Terry McAulay, a Hammond native who in a 20-year NFL officiating career refereed three Super Bowls, and is now the NBC Sports officiating analyst for Sunday Night Football and Notre Dame football. McAuley is the 2021 winner of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award.

Inducted as winners of the LSWA’s Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism will be trailblazing New Orleans television sports anchor Ro Brown, former Northwestern State sports information director and longtime Hall of Fame chairman Doug Ireland. and Baton Rouge Advocate sportswriter Sheldon Mickles.