During north Louisiana’s summer months, Highway 3049 transforms into a path of golden flowers. It is the Boom or Bust Byway’s natural way of welcoming the annual Sunflower Trail and Festival, which was recently cancelled due to COVID-19. Traveling through rural Caddo and Bossier Parish can be tricky, and if you’ve never driven the sunflower trail, you’ll find these seven pro-tips quite useful:
1. Sunflowers are not limber wild flowers – bring floral shears.
This is not your typical dandelion that you can pluck from the earth with ease. Sunflowers can grow up to six feet tall, so they need a sturdy stem to uphold all of its blooming glory. Be sure to bring floral shears or a pocket knife if you plan to take a few of them home with you.
2. Sunflowers can last for nearly two weeks in a vase with proper care.
To maximize the life of your sunflowers, follow these tips:
- Select a flower that is in mid-bloom and cut the stem at an angle.
- Remove any leaves that will touch water to prevent mold.
- Place flowers in a vase with room temperature water.
- Change the water and rinse stems every few days.
3. If you’re directionally challenged, follow the sunflower map.
There’s nothing worse than being lost, especially in rural areas. There may not be a gas station for miles, and you may not have cell service, so drive the byway with a map. The Sunflower Trail and Festival organizers produce a brochure that includes a map of the 20-mile sunflower trail, and it highlights the major highways for easy navigation. Pick up a printed brochure at the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau in downtown Shreveport, or view the map here.
4. Phone photography is cool, but professionals are available for photo ops too.
Sunflowers spark the interest of many as they travel across the Ark-La-Tex to be photographed in front of the bright yellow blossoms. But if you really want to impress your Instagram followers, schedule sunflower mini photo sessions with local professionals. Many of them are affordable and familiar with the sunflower trail. Message their business page on Facebook to squeeze in a photo op. Here’s a few photographers to choose from:
- Jeremy Fontenot Photography
- Laura Hood Photography
- Ciara Sipes Photography
- Nicole Marquez Photography
- JCB Productions
5. Your days with sunflowers are numbered.
Sunflowers’ peak bloom season is from mid-June through mid-July. The sweet spot of that timeframe is usually the last week in June and the first week of July.
6. Visit the Sunflower Trail and Festival website for details, and follow the Facebook page for updates.
7. You can win money for taking great sunflower photos.
Yes, I said it – money! The Sunflower Trail and Festival organizers construct a photography contest every year to test the creativity of camera-savvy road trippers. First place winners will receive $125 in cash. Click here for more details.
While you’re exploring the sunflower trail, stay on the Boom or Bust Byway for a lengthier GPS-navigated adventure through Caddo, Bossier, Webster and Claiborne Parish by downloading the app on Google Play or Apple App Store. For more information about things to do along the Boom or Bust Byway, visit www.BoomOrBustByway.com or follow the Boom or Bust Byway Facebook page or Instagram account.