Rock out on the riverbank at Rockin River Fest Friday, June 29


A riverbank concert featuring Grammy Award-winning Cajun entertainer Wayne Toups, introduction of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame’s 2018 induction class, and fireworks over Cane River Lake in downtown Natchitoches is Friday, June 29.

The Rockin’ River Fest, presented by Rapides Regional Medical Center, is a free concert and festival beginning at 6 p.m. and running until 10:30 p.m. at the Rue Beauport Riverfront stage, featuring amphitheater seating for 1,000. Family-friendly activities for kids, including games led by personnel from the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans, combine with top-quality musical entertainment from Toups, along with popular regional bands Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs, Billy O’Con and Badd Apple. Food and refreshments will be near the stage from Dickey’s Barbeque, Smoothie King and Kona Ice.

The Saints and Pelicans will provide children of all ages with football and basketball fun. Golf putting games are provided by Louisiana Propane Dealers, with science activities from Rapides Regional Medical Center. For a special treat, the VIP Taste of Tailgating, presented by MidSouth Bank, will begin at 7 in a giant, air-conditioned tent next to the stage. Restaurants from around Natchitoches are providing outstanding tailgating dishes with beer, wine and specialized cocktails available among the refreshments inside the tent. Tickets are $75 at

Billy O’Con and Badd Apple will kick off the music at 6 p.m., with Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs following for a set before Toups joins them at 8:45 p.m. to begin two sets sandwiched around the Hall of Famer introductions and fireworks.

“We’re aiming to present the outdoor party of the summer for Natchitoches and the surrounding area,” said Ronnie Rantz, CEO/President of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation. “There’s great music, food and fun for kids of all ages, and the only cost is whatever food and treats you want. Add in Louisiana sports greats being introduced at 9:15 p.m. and a trademark-Natchitoches fireworks show at 9:30 p.m., then more Wayne Toups entertainment, it’s going to be a fabulous event. “Inside the air-conditioned tent next to the stage, enjoy a buffet of the restaurants in and near Natchitoches and drinks and refreshments at the VIP Taste of Tailgating. We believe we’re got something for everybody and plenty of it.”