Nouvelles Des Villes
New Book in French and English
Graced with a beautiful painting by the late George Rodrigue on the cover, the long-awaited Acadie Then and Now: A People’s History by Warren Perrin, Mary Broussard Perrin and Phil Comeau has arrived ($29.95 hardcover) as well as the French version, L’Acadie hier et aujourd’hui: L’histoire d’un People. The important new tome, an invaluable resource for anyone interested in Cajun roots and culture, features an international collection of 65 gripping articles on the Acadians written by 50 Cajuns living today in Louisiana, Texas, Maine, and in the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Quebec, plus the French regions of Poitou, Belle-Isle-en-Mer and St.-Pierre et Miquelon. The Louisiana launch was held at Vermilionville Sept. 28. The book lends new insights of the past, present and future of Acadian descendants from all of the Acadies of the world.
New CD Debuts with first Symposium at Festivals Acadiens et Creole in lafayette
Thanks to a $25,000 grant that was recently awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, UL at Lafayette is joining with officials of the 40th annual Festivals Acadiens et Créole (Oct. 9-12; festivalsacadiens.com) to present the first-ever symposium on Oct. 9, with a cultural conference, art exhibit and a commemorative CD featuring songs collected in 1934 during a recording trip through Acadiana by John Lomax and his son, Alan Lomax. The grant was pursued to honor the unique confluence of the 40th anniversary of the festival and the 80th anniversary of Alan Lomax’s visit to record Cajun musicians in south Louisiana. Seminars include “Themes of Cultural Conservation, Creolization and Modernization in the Work of Alan Lomax and Ralph Rinzler,” “The History of Festivals Acadiens et Créoles” with UL professor and folklorist Barry Ancelet as keynote speaker; and “Musicians and Family Members Reflect on the Festival” with Christine Balfa, Michael Doucet, Lawrence Ardoin and Ann Savoy. The festival, featuring five live music stages, kicks off the with the official “cutting of the boudin” during Friday night’s fais do-do. Check out the jam tent; anyone can join in the jam led by top musicians (bring your own instrument). The Visions of Tradition: 40 Years of Festivals Acadiens et Creoles exhibit at the Paul & Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum is on view until Oct. 12.
Festivals abound throughout Acadiana
Aside from Festivals Acadiens et Créole, some of the best (and tastiest) of Louisiana’s 400 annual festivals are held in October and November. This includes Rouge et Blanc, Southwest Louisiana’s premier wine event and fest, held Oct. 11 under the stately oaks of downtown Lake Charles, featuring numerous wine dinners and seminars during the week preceding the big event. The inaugural La Fete des Vieux Temps (Festival of Old Times) in Raceland Oct. 3-5 brings back La Vie Lafourchaise and Sauce Piquante. New Iberia’s annual Shadows-on-the-Teche Arts and Crafts Festival Oct. 4 and the World Championship Gumbo Cook-Off with gobs of great gumbo enliven New Iberia Oct. 11-12. The Louisiana Cotton Festival in Ville Platte now runs in conjunction with the Tournoi Oct. 7-12. The Louisiana Cattle Festival in Abbeville Oct. 10-12 features two fais do-dos and dancing in the streets plus a beef cook-off. The 43rd Annual Louisiana Gumbo Festival Oct. 17-19 in Thibodaux features some of the best cooks in Louisiana. The Acadiana Center for the Arts presents Gulf Brew on Oct. 18 at Parc International in Lafayette. The International Rice Festival Oct. 16-19 in Crowley includes a classic car show and Creole cookery contest. Five-thousand eggs are cracked into a huge skillet in front of the courthouse at the Giant Omelette Celebration in Abbeville Nov. 1-2, while the Thibodauxville Fall Festival Nov. 8 features a zany duck race along the bayou. The Bayou Beer Fest Nov. 15 at Southdown Plantation in Houma showcases numerous Louisiana breweries. The Cajun Christmas Bayou Parade Nov. 30 in the crawfish capital of Breaux Bridge kicks off Acadiana’s holiday season.
Buried Treasure in Jeanerette
Something was buried on the grounds of the Jeanerette Museum 10 years ago, and the time capsule will be unearthed on Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. during “Yesterday’s Tomorrow’s: Uncovering the Past.” Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue will perform Western swing and rockability classics for the occasion. The museum features an exhibition that showcases 200 years of the sugarcane industry, plus a swamp room with over 40 native specimens of natural wildlife. Information, jeanerettemuseum.com.
Morgan City Unveils New Welcome Center
The new Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau Welcome and Interpretive Center recently opened in Morgan City. The $3.8 million, year-long project resulted in a 16,000-square-foot facility with a picturesque view of the wetlands. It houses the new visitors’ center, in addition to new main offices for the Cajun Coast VCB. Information, cajuncoast.com.
Enquero, Inc. selected Lafayette as the site for their first Agile Development Center. At least 350 new direct jobs and as many indirect jobs will be created, totaling 700 in the Acadiana region. It will network with Enquero’s AgilityStudios in Silicon Valley to deliver high impact business solutions with software products and services. As tenants of the Opportunity Machine, a Lafayette business incubator, the center is able to connect with Computer Science and Informatics students of UL at Lafayette. The company announced plans to enhance programs in the curricula and recruit interns and apprentices from UL. Information, enquero.com.