Thursday, September 27, 2012

Festivals Acadiens et Créoles 2012 bigger than ever

    Festivals Acadiens et Créoles, which pays tribute to Acadiana’s Cajun and zydeco music, grows every year, with new events both at the festival site and throughout Lafayette.
     This year’s fete honors Louisiana’s bicentennial celebration of its statehood, one of the 200th anniversary’s kick-off events statewide. Among the many stages of live music at Festivals Acadiens et Créoles will be the Louisiana Bicentennial Stage, hosting a wide variety of talent.
    The festival takes place Oct. 12-14, 2012, at Lafayette’s Girard Park and is actually a collection of festivals. The three days of fun includes the Festival de Musique/Music Festival, the Bayou Food Festival, the Louisiana Craft Fair, La Place des Petits for the kids, Culture Sur La Table/Culture on the Table workshops on Cajun and Creole cooking and Louisiana Folk Roots, which features jam sessions and interviews with Cajun and zydeco legends.
    This year’s poster by artist Megan Barra is a good example of the interconnectivity of Acadiana’s culture, a fabric tree with intersecting threads showcasing the influences of many individuals on Cajun and Creole-zydeco music. The trunk of the tree represents the collective festivals with James Domingue, organizer of the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana, watering its growth. Domingue is this year’s honoree for his work keeping French alive in South Louisiana.
    “It’s been referred to as our family tree,” Organizer Patrick Mould explained of the poster.
    Bands appearing include Balfa Toujours, Jo-El Sonier, Feufollet, the Savoy Family Band, Lil’ Band o’ Gold, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, Geno Delafose and French Rockin’ Boogie, Wayne Toups, Cedric Watson, Soul Express Brass Band, Pine Leaf Boys and Michael Doucet with Mitch Reed, among many more. In addition there will be jam sessions led by accomplished musicians.
    To view a full schedule of bands, food and craft vendors and more, plus activities happening in town outside the festival grounds, visit

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Scary happenings coming to Lafayette!

    It’s that time of year, when spooks walk the earth and we love to be scared. And the Lafayette Science Museum is happy to oblige.
    The annual Museum of Fear returns to downtown Lafayette from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays in October, held on the spooky third floor of the Lafayette Science Museum at the corner of Congress and Jefferson streets.
    Admission is $8 at the door, where you leave all rational thought behind.
The fun concludes with the inaugural ZombieWalk beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, at corner of Lee and Jefferson streets on the lawn of the old City Hall, next to the statue of Gen. Mouton (who may participate).
   The zombie parade will march down Jefferson Street in downtown Lafayette, ending at Parc Sans Souci for an after-party and costume contest. The lucky winners of the costume contest earn the right to haunt visitors from within the Museum of Fear’s cemetery.     Participation in ZombieWalk and walking among the living dead is free.
    Both events are geared for the whole family. As organizers put it, “A family that scares together shares together!”
    For more information, call (337) 291-5544 or visit
    Both events are fundraisers for the downtown museum.
    Other horrific October events in Acadiana include:
    The St. Landry Catholic Church is located next to its historic and impressive cemetery in Opelousas. Annual cemetery tours are offered in October and this year’s tour examines "Louisiana 200 Years." Tours will be offered at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 13-14 and 20-21, 2012, at the St. Landry Catholic Church, 1020 N. Main St. in Opelousas. Tickets are $10. For information, call (337) 942-8318.
    Downtown Lafayette’s Movies in the Parc presents the family favorite “Ghostbusters” Saturday, Oct. 20, at Parc International. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $2, free for children ages 5 and under. Parking is available at Parc-Auto du Centreville at Polk and Vermilion streets. Concessions are available on site.
    Lafayette's inaugural Zombie Ride bike ride will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, in downtown Lafayette, with stops at downtown watering holes. Some downtown sponsors will be offering drinks to those "dressed to kill."
    The Lakeview Park and Beach in Eunice presents its third annual "Hwy 13 Haunted House" at 7:30 p.m.-until every Saturday in October plus Oct. 26 and 31. Every house has been revamped and there will be a zombie apocalypse. Tickets are $7.
    Vermilionville Living History Museum & Folklife Park will offer a Halloween celebration at the village with Boo Bayou, a fall carnival, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. Activities include games, costume contest, trick-or-treating throughout the village and entertainment by Louisiana Performance Center and Renaissance Cadienne.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fall means endless fun at food festivals!

    When fall arrives in South Louisiana, it has the same effect as spring in most parts of the country. Suddenly, everyone appears to be in love, residents flock to fall festivals and thoughts turn — naturally — to the prospects of good eating.
    Louisiana hosts more than 100 festivals a year, many of them revolving around food. Couple that with the harvests of many crops and you have outstanding fall festivals!
    Here’s a taste — pun intended — of some fall festivals featuring food in Acadiana:
    The St. Martinville Kiwanis Club Annual Pepper Festival has expanded to two days and will offer live bands, a pepper eating contest, a street fair, arts and crafts and food vendors Friday and Saturday, Sept. 14-15, 2012, at the St. Martinville City Fairgrounds. 
  Festival del Taco will be Saturday, Sept 15, 2012, at the Farmer's Market Pavilion in Le Vieux Village of Opelousas, just a short drive from Lafayette.
    Come explore the sweet side of our state at the annual Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival which celebrates one of Louisiana's largest crops. The fun will be Sept. 26-30, 2012, in New Iberia. 
    Latin Music Festival will include food and activities in its musical lineup from noon to midnight Saturday, Oct 6, 2012, in downtown Lafayette.
    Festivals Acadiens et Creole combines music, food and culture in Girard Park of Lafayette Friday through Sunday, Oct. 12-14, 2012.
    The International Rice Festival celebrates one of South Louisiana’s major crops Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 18-21, 2012, in nearby Crowley.
     The Boudin Cookoff celebrates one of Lafayette’s traditional foods on Saturday, Oct. 20, in Parc San Souci of downtown Lafayette. Come help pick the best boudin!
     Folks come from all over the country to attend the South Louisiana Black Pot Festival and Cookoff, to be held Oct. 26 and 27 in Acadian Village. Camp out, join in the cooking and jam sessions or just visit for the food, fun and dancing. 
    The Acadiana Wine and Food Festival, a fundraiser for the Paul & Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum of Lafayette, will take place from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, on the grounds of the museum.
    Food Day Acadiana 2012, honoring local farmers, artisans and restaurants, will be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, at the Heymann Memorial Park off South College Road in Lafayette. 
    Nearby Rayne is known as the Frog Capital of the World for its shipping of native bullfrogs to the nation’s finest French restaurants. The Rayne Frog Festival honors this history Wednesday through Sunday, Nov. 7-11, 2012. 
    For a complete list of Louisiana festivals, visit Louisiana Travel. For a list of Lafayette-area events, visit Lafayette Convention and Visitor’s Commission.