Free Hall of Fame Rockin’ River Fest concert, fireworks downtown tonight

The party is started. This evening, it turns into a free concert on the Rue Beauport downtown riverbank stage.

The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2021 Induction Celebration got underway Thursday with a press conference and the La Capitol Federal Credit Union Welcome Reception at the LSHOF museum.

Today’s slate begins with the BOM Bowling Bash from 11:30-2 at Four Seasons Bowling Center in Alexandria, and reaches a peak this evening from 6-10:30 with rock ‘n roll and contemporary country music.

It’s the Rockin’ River Fest presented by Rapides Regional Medical Center, free to all in downtown Natchitoches.

The area’s most iconic local rock artist, Billy O’Con, and his band BaDD Apple will split the bill with the extremely popular Baton Rouge country band Parish County Line on the riverbank stage.

BaDD Apple starts the show at 6 and after a two-hour set, gives way to Parish County Line, with music lasting until 10:30, no admission required.

Along with great music, the family atmosphere offers free games for kids on the riverbank under the Church Street Bridge, thanks to Louisiana Propane Dealers.

Shortly after 9, the Class of 2021 inductees will be introduced on stage and a spectacular, holiday-season-level fireworks show will immediately follow.

The LSHOF inductees headlined by Saints great Marques Colston, LSU football legend Glenn Dorsey, Major League Baseball All-Star Rickie Weeks, and bass fishing icon Bo Dowden, a Natchitoches native.

There’s an upscale party up on Front Street at Mama’s Oyster House and Blues Room, and outside on the bricks. The Hancock-Whitney Taste of Tailgating shindig runs from 7-10, with guests enjoying tailgating-inspired food stations, specialty cocktails, free beer and wine, a silent auction, and music by DJ Geaux.

A small portion of Front Street north from the Church Street bridge will be closed to traffic this evening to provide safe access for Taste of Tailgating patrons walking to the outdoor seating and riverbank area.

Tickets for the Taste of Tailgating are $100 per person ($50 for under 21 partygoers) and must be purchased in advance through the website or by calling Gracen McDonald, the LSHOF Foundation executive assistant, at 318-554-9020. All COVID-19 protocols mandated by the state will be observed for the indoor event.

Saturday’s LSHOF festivities begin with a free Junior Training Camp and include the Roundtable Luncheon and the Taste of Louisiana Reception at the LSHOF Museum. Capping the schedule: the Taste of Louisiana Reception at the museum from 5-6:45 and the 7 p.m. Induction Ceremony at the Natchitoches Events Center, televised live by Cox Sports Television with coverage starting at 6 p.m.

Reservations are necessary for the free Junior Training Camp by visiting or calling McDonald at 318-554-9020. Those are also pathways for tickets to the luncheon and induction reception and ceremony.