Four Free Summer Festivals Along the Byway


Summertime is inarguably my favorite time to road-trip the Boom or Bust Byway. As an avid festival attendee, my summer isn’t complete without the Gusher Days Festival, Sunflower Trail and Festival, Heritage & Harvest Tour, and Mooringsport Cypress Festival. I thrive in the midst of excitement and outdoor activities, especially when they are free. Yes, all four festivals are FREE!

The Gusher Days Festival is always held at Earl G. Williamson Park, 11425 Hwy. 1 South in Oil City. This festival features arts and crafts, food vendors, children’s activities, competitions, gun and archery shootouts, live entertainment, and a fishing tournament. Last year’s festival came with twist on animal interaction. Cockrill’s Country Critters Petting Zoo came to steal the show, which featured kangaroos, ponies, and…………..porcupines!

Gusher Days presents a unique, fun, engaging opportunity for festivalgoers to learn about Oil City’s heritage. Many look forward to the Gusher Days Festival’s classic fair food options such as barbecue, hot dogs, funnel cakes, and more.

The Sunflower Trail and Festival is a pretty big deal for North Caddo Parish. It’s held at Red River Crossroads Museum, 12797 Main St. in Gilliam. The festival features a scenic sunflower trail, sunflower picking, arts and crafts, live entertainment, art exhibits, children’s activities, contests, and more. People travel near and far to capture breathtaking photographs with these vibrant sunflower fields.

To drive the Sunflower Trail, turn right at Old Dixie Gin and Sentell Road and drive the loop around the levee. Sentell Road circles back to Hwy. 3049 at Cornerstone Baptist Church, just north of Dixie. This drive gives visitors a chance to appreciate nature’s seasonal beauty through widespread fields of sunflowers and wildflower fields.

“Festivalgoers love the small town family atmosphere, the simplicity of driving the country roads and walking through the sunflowers,” said Karen Logan, event organizer for Sunflower Trail and Festival.

Logan also hosts the annual Heritage & Harvest Tour, which is sponsored by the Red River Crossroads Historical Association. It features more than 10 attractions from Shreveport to Ida including historical churches, bridges, museums, shops, and plantations. This self-driving tour caters to the history-lovers because the scenery, stops and landmarks are dripping with historical value.

The Mooringsport Cypress Festival takes over Edwin Tuttle Currie Park, 705 Greenwood St. in Mooringsport, for more than nine hours. This festival features live entertainment, food, arts and crafts, karaoke, children’s activities, a parade, and more from the late morning to early evening. It’s a fun, community-based festival that presents an opportunity for locals to gather and showcase their crafty and culinary talents. Again, admission is free.

Come near, come far. Bring family, bring friends. You don’t want to miss it. It’s worth the drive.

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