Holiday in Dixie began as the result of a decision by our merchants and civic leaders of Shreveport. The first festival was held in 1949, and was developed by a dynamic young man named W.C. Money and the community affairs committee of the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce. The initial Holiday in Dixie was a large five day pageant staged with a cast of hundreds at the State Fair stadium. The pageant was called “Salute to the Southland” and depicted the early history of Shreveport. In 1950, the theme of the festival changed to celebrate the signing of the Louisiana Purchase, which occurred April 30, 1803. Today the festival celebrates the arrival of spring and the Louisiana Purchase.
As the festival grew, a new financial base was established through the formation of the Ambassadors Club in 1962, under the then-president of Holiday in Dixie, the late James M. “Bubba” Jones. The late Walter B. Jacobs, Jr. served as the Ambassadors’ first Chairman. Honored guests of the Ambassadors Club include notable people such as William Simon, John Connally, Bob Strauss and President Gerald Ford in 1976. In 2008, the Holiday in Dixie Presidents and the Ark-La-Tex Ambassadors combined to form one Board that sponsors the Holiday in Dixie festival. The Ark-La-Tex Ambassadors is a membership-based organization whose annual dues support the multi-faceted festival.
Holiday in Dixie is a collage of many different events to meet many different interests. There are grand balls such as Cotillion and Plantation Ball. A Classic Parade provides both the opportunity to observe the formal bands and floats while catching throws. Our ever popular KTBS Treasure Hunt taxes minds while taking thousands on a hunt throughout the Ark-La-Tex. And of course, what festival would be complete without a carnival. Every year Festival Plaza comes alive with a 10 day carnival experience complete with thrilling rides and that delicious carnival food everyone craves!! Both Saturdays of the Festival, main stage is the home for local entertainment. Holiday in Dixie strives to celebrate life, expand interests and improve the quality of life for our community and its citizens.