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Shreveport, LA (Population: 198,874)

Shreveport is the third largest city in the State of Louisiana and the seat of Caddo Parish. Shreveport is sometimes referred to as the "Gateway to East Texas" or described as sitting on the border of the South and the West. Located on the Red River, the city is once again developing itself as a shipping center, as the river has only recently been re-opened for shipping. Riverboat casinos, which appeared on the scene in the 1990s, spurred a riverside revitalization project known as the "Streetscape" project which occurred in downtown areas as well. The city's tourism economy is second in the state to New Orleans, and is responsible for a great deal of the city's income. The Louisiana Boardwalk and the city's many casinos play a large role in attracting visitors to the city.

Shreveport's Southern flair is nowhere more apparent than in its festivals. The Louisiana State Fair takes place here each year, as does the Red River Revel which is a festival of culture, music and art. Mudbug Madness is a truly unique event in celebration of the crawfish, a favorite food of locals and visitors alike. Shreveport is also one of three Louisiana cities to participate in the Holiday in Dixie Trail of Lights. Attracting many each year is the Independence Bowl for college sports fans and the Louisiana Film Festival which is held at Centenary College.

For nature enthusiasts, visiting Shreveport is a no-brainer. The city is home to the National Rose Garden, the Gardens of the American Rose Center, the Azalea Gardens, Chimp Haven and the Yogie and Friends Exotic Cat Sanctuary. The Louisiana State University at Shreveport hosts a Pioneer Heritage Center, and the Sci-Port Discovery Center and I-MAX provide educational fun for the whole family. The Multicultural Center of the South and the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum are both great ways to experience distinctive Louisiana Culture. In the performing arts, Shreveport has a symphony orchestra, an opera, a ballet company and several theater groups, so you're sure to find something for any fan of the arts.