Wildlife, Nightlife and Good Eats

Round up of what's new in Acadiana

News 01


These Gators Don’t Bite

When the kids start asking “Are we there yet?” while driving along I-10 during the family’s summer road trip, head to Gator Chateau and give them some baby alligators to pet. Public feedings for gators start in June and end in September. After the kids get a lesson from an alligator handler, they can hold one of the babies and take photos. Tip: Closed on July 4 (jeffdavis.org/gator-chateau).


Endurance Rite of Passage in Lafayette

Registration is now open for the revered CajunMan Triathlon and Duathlon (Sept. 10). Known as a rite of passage for endurance fiends, the (USTA sanctioned) race includes ½ mile of swimming (assisted by boats for water safety), 20 miles of pedaling through Lafayette Parish roads and a 5K run throughout the Lafayette regional airport grounds. Athletes who don’t want to do the entire race can enter as a relay team (latrail.org/cajunman).


News 02

Fishermen Hooked on Birds

Calcasieu Two feathers on a wood duck (lemon and bared) are highly prized by fly fishermen, but that isn’t the reason members of the Contraband Flycasters Club recently created and installed several new wood duck houses at Sam Houston Jones State Park (three in the lagoon along the Red Trail and two more in the nearby turtle pond). Members explained they did it for the love of the park that reopened in May 2022 after hurricanes destroyed 80% of the trees and buildings (lastateparks.com/parks-preserves/sam-houston-jones-state-park).


Bettering a Setting

Lafayette The former Jefferson Street Pub, housed in a circa-1905 former bank building, was recently sold for $2.5 million. The Classical Revival building’s transformation includes two bars and five upstairs apartments. Renamed as The Jefferson, it will also be an event space while the side bar is being leased to an established, yet-to-be-announced Acadiana restaurant currently under expansion (downtownlafayette.org).


News 03

Carencro and Scott

Hot from Scott

When completed, the new Carencro Best Stop that is currently under construction will offer outdoor seating, a drive-through and a deli featuring its signature boudin and specialty meat offerings, Brunella biscuits, Dana burgers and Penny’s po’boys made famous at the original Best Stop in Scott. Slated for completion in the latter half of 2023 (facebook.com/BestStopSupermarketCarencro). A new Tractor Supply Company is also coming soon to Carencro, likewise preceded by a Scott location (tractorsupply.com).


Viens Voir le Pays des Ancêtres

For those longing to visit the land of their Acadian forefathers, the next Congrès Mondial Acadien has been announced (cma2024.ca/; facebook.com/cma2024/). Held every five years, the 10-day family reunions (Aug. 10-18, 2024) are a way for people from around the world to connect with their Acadian ancestry (for family reunions: familles@cma2024.ca/). Erath’s Acadian Museum is partnering with Richard Laurin of Nova Scotia to organize a tour group from Louisiana (Novacadie Tours Inc., novacadie.ca).


News 04

Sweets and Sushi

Youngsville Construction begins this summer for Youngsville’s first Baskin-Robbins, to be located in a new 11,650-square-foot shopping center adjacent to Mill Commons in Sugar Mill Pond. A new Tokyo Japan Steakhouse & Sushi Restaurant, complete with a large porch, will occupy the largest space in the center. The only other Baskin-Robbins locations in Acadiana are situated in New Iberia and Lafayette (baskinrobbins.com; tokyosteakhousesushibar.com).


Two-Stepping into Summer

Erath If you want to get some pep in your two-stepping via concerts by such greats as Zachary Richard and the late D.L Menard, grab your partner and visit youtube.com/@acadianmuseum to polish your moves for those summer festivals. Tip: Enjoy nightly dancing to music by top bands at the fais-do-do during the 87th annual Erath 4th of July Celebration (June 30-July 4) complete with parades, pageants, fireworks and the boisterous (hotly contested) water fights between five city fire department teams (erath4.com).