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Monday, December 23, 2013

'Only in Louisiana' event celebrates our Grammy nominees

     Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and the Louisiana Office of Tourism are hosting “Only in Louisiana,” a celebration of Louisiana’s 2014 Grammy nominees, with live performances by Terrance Simien, Hot 8 Brass Band and Zachary Richard, beginning at 7 p.m. at Baton Rouge Magnet High in Baton Rouge.
Terrance Simien
     There are 11 Louisiana acts recently announced as finalists for America’s top music honors. Other Grammy nominees from Louisiana are Hunter Hayes, Tim McGraw, Allen Toussaint, Terence Blanchard, Bobby Rush, Andrew Duhon, Bishop Paul S. Morton and PJ Morton. Additionally, two Grammy-nominated compilation albums feature Dege Legg, the Savoy Family Band, the Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band and David Doucet. Grammy nods include nominations in Best Regional Roots, Best Americana Roots and best album or performances in jazz, country, blues, R&B and gospel.
Savoy Family Band
     “We have been celebrating music all year long and are thrilled to put together this program highlighting Louisiana’s best musicians and raising funds to offset nominees’ travel expenses to the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles,” Lt. Gov. Dardenne said. “We expect ‘Only in Louisiana’ to be an evening filled with incredible tunes and fun times.”
     The event will also recognize artists who participated in the 2013 Louisiana Music Ambassador Program, a Louisiana Office of Tourism program that sponsors Louisiana acts playing at major festivals and venues nationally and internationally. Music Ambassadors touted Louisiana as a top tourist destination for music lovers during their performances, while distributing Louisiana Pick Your Passion items to crowds in more than 20 U.S. states and eight foreign countries.
     Tickets to the "Only in Louisiana" concert are $25. Information: brmhs.ebrschools.org.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A taste of Faberge in Cajun Country

     Did you know that Vivian Alexander creates unique Christmas ornaments in the style of Carl Faberge, right here in the heart of Cajun Country? These elegant, unique creations also include purses, jewelry, clocks and whimsical eggs, fabulous works of art collected worldwide with some used by Hollywood in major motion pictures. Each piece is a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted in Louisiana.
     For Christmas, Vivian Alexander has produced the 2013 Fine Silver Christmas Ornament (shown at right) in a limited edition of 200, serially numbered, each made by hand and engine turned to create the beautiful guilloche pattern, enhanced with translucent enamel. This technique was the core of the Faberge Imperial Egg created for the Tzar of Russia. Alexander mastered this procedure while replicating selected objects from the vast Faberge collection of Imperial Russian Art gathered by Malcolm Forbes. 
     Original purses can be created by Alexander with the customer specifying enamel colors and designs. The purse to the left contains enamel and Swarovski crystals.
     Not only are these masterpieces available for purchase, but you can tour the Vivian Alexander Art Studio in Maurice, just outside Lafayette, by appointment Tuesdays through Saturdays. For information, call (337) 898 0803, visit http://www.vivianalexander.com/ or email info@vivianalexander.com.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Christmas Story retold

     Two Lafayette churches will be telling the Christmas Story, both in unique and imaginative ways.
     First Baptist Church of Lafayette presents its annual “Singing Christmas Tree” performance with a cast of more than 200, including 85 choir members in a 60-foot tree, in “Keep Calm…Christmas is Coming.” The annual Christmas show travels back to 1940 England when the Germans bombed London and the English Crown encouraged British residents to “Keep Calm and Carry On.”
     “Keep Calm…Christmas is Coming” will be performed Dec. 13-16 at First Baptist Church, 1100 Lee Ave. in downtown Lafayette. Performance times are 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13; 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14; 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15 and 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16.
     Tickets are $10 for students and children, $15 for adults; call (800) 965-9324.
     The Children’s Ministries of Asbury United Methodist Church presents its inaugural “A Drive Thru Bethlehem” beginning at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, through the Asbury campus, 101 Live Oak Blvd. Visitors will view the story of Jesus’ birth with live scenes including the prophet Isaiah foretelling the coming of the Messiah, Mary hearing her destiny from the Angel Gabriel, shepherds tending sheep and The Nativity.
     Cars should enter from Johnston Street, turn right on Montrose Avenue and head south. Turn right on Bell Ann Drive and enter the Asbury Children’s Ministry Building driveway, located adjacent to the southeastern side of LaFonda’s Restaurant. 
     Admission, refreshments and the journey though the town of Bethlehem are free and open to the public.
     Other church holiday events include:
     The free Advent Mission at 6:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9, at St. Peter Catholic Church in Carencro. For information, call (337) 896-9408.
     Lessons and Carols, traditional candlelight service of readings and choral music for the Christmas season in the historic St. John Cathedral, will begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at 914 St. John St. in downtown Lafayette. For information, call (337) 232-1322.

Holiday performances to get you in the spirit

     Concerts, ballet, theatrical events and more are part of Lafayette’s holiday lineup. Here are a few to choose from. For a complete list of Cajun and Creole Christmas events, visit LafayetteTravel.com.
     PASA presents Danú, one of the leading traditional Irish ensembles today, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, in the Heymann Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $10 to $40.
     Christmas with Aaron Neville will be 7:30 pm. Wednesday, Dec. 11, at the Acadiana Center for the Arts. The voice of the Crescent City returns to Lafayette with his full band in a special Christmas performance. 
     The popular “A Tuna Christmas” stage play returns to Cité des Arts of downtown Lafayette Dec. 12-15, 19-22 and 26-29. The comedy is set in the fictional town of Tuna, Texas, and two actors play the entire cast of more than 20 characters of both genders and various ages. For information, call (337) 291-1122.
     The Singing Christmas Tree is a Broadway-style Christmas show for the entire family with a choir singing from a massive Christmas tree. This year’s production is “Keep Calm…Christmas is Coming. Performances are 7 p.m. Dec. 13, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 14, 3 p.m. Dec. 15 and 7 p.m. Dec. 16 at the First Baptist Church in Lafayette. For information, call (800) 965-9324.
     “The Nutcracker” will be performed by Lafayette Ballet Theatre with special guests at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Heymann Performing Arts Center in Lafayette. For information, call (337) 262-0444 or visit www.lafayetteballettheatre.org.
Welch-Babidge
     Looking for a special Christmas event this week? The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, Chorus and Youth Orchestra with special guest soprano Jennifer Welch-Babidge present “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” at 6:30 pm Thursday, Dec 19, at the Heymann Performing Arts Center. In addition to traditional holiday favorites and classics including “Christmas Day” by Holst, “Messiah” excerpts by Handel, “Exultate Jubilate” by Mozart, and “Dance Bacchanal” from “Samson & Delilah” by Saint Saens, Santa will make a visit. Perfect for the whole family.
     The Mavericks with their unique blend of country, Latin and rock 'n' roll, fronted by the vocals of Cuban-born Raul Malo, perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20, at the Acadiana Center for the Arts.
     This is only a tip of the holiday iceberg. Be sure and check out the full schedule at http://www.lafayettetravel.com/play/festivalsevents/cajun-creole-christmas.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Christmas Parades start rolling Dec. 1

     The holiday parades begin Sunday, Dec. 1, with the Breaux Bridge Christmas Parade rolling through downtown Main Street beginning at 2 p.m. The annual Christmas parade always occurs the Sunday after Thanksgiving, kicking off the holiday season.
     The New Iberia Christmas Parade rolls along Main Street from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 3, with Santa Claus, marching bands and dance groups. Mayor Curry will start the lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on the steps of City Hall.
     The City of Broussard Christmas Parade begins at 1 p.m. Dec. 7 at the intersection of South Morgan and Albertson Parkway in Broussard. 
     The Franklin Christmas parade and lamp-lighting ceremony begins at 6 p.m. Dec. 7 on the corner of Jackson and Main streets in Franklin.
     The Christmas Children’s Parade rolls through Carencro at 2 p.m. Dec. 7, part of the all-day Carencro Country Christmas at 5115 N. University in Carencro.
     The Sonic Christmas Parade rolls from downtown Lafayette to the Oil Center, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 8. One of the oldest Christmas activities in Acadiana, containing more than 20 floats, high school marching bands and the official arrival of Santa Claus to Lafayette.
     The Kiwanis Christmas Parade begins at 2 p.m. Dec. 8 near St. Martinville Senior High School, following Main Street and ending off Denier Street. 
     The Delcambre Christmas on the Bayou and parade begins at 2 p.m. Dec. 7 at the corner of Main Street and South Pelloat to Delcambre Shrimp Festival Building.
     The St. Lucy Festival of Light and Christmas Parade is Dec. 8 at St. Martin de Tours Church Square in St. Martinville.
     The Jeanerette Christmas Parade begins at 1 p.m. Dec. 8 down Main Street with Santa Claus, marching bands, dance groups and more.
     The Mamou Rotary Cajun Christmas Parade begins at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at Mamou High School, runs through the business district on Sixth Street and ends back at the school. Parade features visiting queens, marching bands, Cajun music bands and Santa Clause pulled by Egrets – the official bird of Cajun Country.  
     Delcambre Holiday Boat Parade begins at 4 p.m. Dec. 14 at the boat docks, 307 Isadore St. in Delcambre. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Lighten up, Acadiana!

            Family’s in for the holidays, kids are getting under foot now that the weather’s turned chilly….get out of the house and tour the area’s holiday light displays! Here’s a list of holiday lights happening throughout Acadiana.
            Kemper Williams Park’s “Christmas Lights in the Park” at 264 Cotten Road in Patterson will be 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Dec. 31. For $2 per car, visitors may enjoy the beautiful displays, lights and music throughout the park.
            Christmas in Crowley features more than 200,000 holiday lights synchronized to music from 5 p.m. to midnight Dec. 2 through Jan. 3, 2014, along Parkerson Avenue in Crowley. The ride is free and you can tune your radio to 93.3 FM for the music. But there will also be "A Holiday Affair" from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Crowley downtown with carolers, pictures with Santa and more. To view a video of the synchronized lights, click here.
            The Safari of Lights at the Zoo of Acadiana begins Nov. 29 and runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly through Dec. 30. Be sure and ride the North Pole Express train! 
            AcadianVillage is covered in half a million lights and offers live entertainment, food and holiday shopping from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly from Nov. 30 through Dec. 23. The annual event titled “Noel Acadien au Village” helps raise funds for the non-profit. Tickets are $9 at the gate; $7 in advance.
           Grand Noel in Grand Coteau is a chance to enjoy shopping in the quaint town from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 30 but there will also be carriage rides, food, carolers, candlelight and food.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Holiday fun in Lafayette

     Acadiana comes alive every holiday season for the annual “A Cajun and Creole Christmas.” Voted a Top 20 December Event by the Southeast Tourism Society, the celebration includes parades, performances, children’s activities, home tours and Santa — and much, much more.
Geno Delafose
     For a complete list of events for A Cajun and Creole Christmas, including events in towns throughout Acadiana, visit LafayetteTravel.com.
     Here’s a rundown of events happening in Lafayette starting with Thanksgiving Eve.
     Downtown Alive! free music concert series features The Pine Leaf Boys on Nov. 27 (Thanksgiving Eve) in Parc Sans Souci and includes the Lighting of the Official City Christmas Tree by Mayor Joey Durel. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., music starts at 6 p.m. Also on Nov. 27 is the Thanksgiving Eve Dance with Geno Delafose at 8:30 p.m. at Vermilionville. Admission is $10. 
     The Safari of Lights at the Zoo of Acadiana begins Nov. 29 and runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly through Dec. 30. Be sure and ride the North Pole Express train! 
     Acadian Village is covered in half a million lights and offers live entertainment, food and holiday shopping from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly from Nov. 30 through Dec. 23. The annual event helps raise funds for the non-profit organization. Tickets $9 at the gate; $7 in advance. 
Acadian Village
     The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra presents “Sounds of the Season” from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at St. Peters Catholic Church, 108 E St. Peter St. in New Iberia. Free.
     Christmas in Scott includes photos with Santa and the official lighting of the Christmas tree at 6 p.m. Dec. 4 at 916 Cayret St. in downtown Scott.
     The annual Festival of Light, one of Lafayette’s largest holiday attractions, happens 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dec. 6 in the Oil Center. Celebrate as the switch is pulled to light the colossal Santa, sleigh and reindeer over Coolidge Boulevard, with music, food and fun, and of course shopping! There’s even snow!
     Christmas at the Alexandre Mouton House, adorned in period decorations, will be Dec. 6-31 at 1122 Lafayette St., downtown Lafayette. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Tickets $5 adults, $3 seniors, $2 students. 
     The City of Broussard Christmas Parade begins at 1 p.m. Dec. 7 at the intersection of South Morgan and Albertson Parkway. 
The Nutcracker
     The Carencro Country Christmas with choirs, singers, arts and crafts, food booths and pictures with Santa takes place 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 5115 N. University in Carencro. Free. The Christmas Children’s Parade begins at 2 p.m.
     The Sonic Christmas Parade rolls from downtown Lafayette to the Oil Center, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 8. Free. One of the oldest Christmas activities in Acadiana, containing more than 20 floats, high school marching bands and the official arrival of Santa Claus to Lafayette. 
     Vermilionville historic village offers an Old-Time Christmas from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 10. Experience the simple warmth and beauty of Christmas past and meet Papa Noël, learn how to make wax candles, sing along to Christmas carols, watch popcorn stringing and even get a taste of apple cider!
     The popular “A Tuna Christmas” stage play returns to Cité des Arts of downtown Lafayette Dec. 12-15, 19-22 and 26-29. The comedy is set in the fictional town of Tuna, Texas, and two actors play the entire cast of more than 20 characters of both genders and various ages. 337-291-1122.
     The Living Bethlehem will be 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 13-15 at Sugar Mill Pond Town Center, 120 Waterview Road in Youngsville. Free. The Living Bethlehem is a live nativity drama featuring a cast of children, live animals and a children’s choir.
Vermilionville
     The Singing Christmas Tree is a Broadway-style Christmas show for the entire family with a choir singing from a massive Christmas tree. This year’s production is “Keep Calm…Christmas is Coming. Performances are 7 p.m. Dec. 13, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 14, 3 p.m. Dec. 15 and 7 p.m. Dec. 16 at the First Baptist Church in Lafayette. 800-965-9324.
     “The Nutcracker” will be performed by Lafayette Ballet Theatre with special guests at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 and 2 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Heymann Performing Arts Center in Lafayette. (337) 262-0444.
     Lessons and Carols, traditional candlelight service of readings and choral music for the Christmas season in the historic St. John Cathedral, will begin at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 at 914 St. John St. in Lafayette. Free.
     The Children’s Museum of Acadiana offers a New Year’s Noon Countdown & Carnival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 31 at the museum in downtown Lafayette. The cost is $6 per person and includes exhibits, confetti, cannons and prize drops.
     This is only a tip of the holiday iceberg. Be sure and check out the full schedule athttp://www.lafayettetravel.com/play/festivalsevents/cajun-creole-christmas.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Restaurants that are open for the holidays

     If you’re visiting Lafayette and Acadiana this holiday season, here’s a handy list of restaurants open for one or more of the holidays.
     Alexandre’s in the Hilton will be open Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve with a special Christmas night dinner from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
     Bailey’s will be open for Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, offering a special Thanksgiving lunch for the less fortunate.
Cafe Vermilionville
     Bayou Bistro in the Hotel Acadiana will be open Christmas Eve.
     Bistro du Cayennes in the Holiday Inn will be open Christmas Eve and offer 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. seatings for Christmas Day.
     Blue Dog will be open Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve until 6 p.m. and New Year’s Eve until 10 p.m.
    Café des Amis in Breaux Bridge will be open Thanksgiving Eve, Christmas Eve until 2 p.m. and New Year’s Eve from 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
    Café Vermilionville will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
     Casa Olé will be open Christmas Eve and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. New Year’s Eve.
     Charley G’s will be open Thanksgiving Eve, Christmas Eve and dinner only on New Year’s Eve.
     Copeland’s is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.
     Cracker Barrel is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
     Crawfish Town USA is open Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving (with a buffet) and New Year’s Eve.
Nash's
     Deano’s Pizza is open Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
     Don’s Seafood is open from 10:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. New Year’s Day.
     Don’s Seafood Hut is open Christmas Eve.
     Fezzo’s in Scott is open New Year’s Eve.
     Golden Corral is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thanksgiving.
     Hub City Diner is open Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
     Jolie's Louisiana Bistro is open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Christmas Eve and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. New Year's Eve.
     Keller’s Bakery is open 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
     Lagneaux's is open Thanksgiving Eve, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.
     Landry’s Cajun, Seafood and Steakhouse in New Iberia is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thanksgiving.
Poor Boy's Riverside Inn
     Little River Inn in New Iberia is open Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
     Masala Indian Kitchen is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thanksgiving.
     McGee’s Landing is open New Year’s Eve.
     Nash’s Restaurant is open Thanksgiving Eve, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thanksgiving and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. New Year’s Eve.
     Pamplona Tapas Bar is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thanksgiving Eve and New Year's Eve.
     Picante Mexican Restaurant and Cantina is open Christmas Eve until 2 p.m. and New Year's Eve until 10 p.m.
     Piccadilly is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thanksgiving.
     Pont Breaux’s Cajun Restaurant in Breaux Bridge is open Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
     Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn in Broussard is open Thanksgiving Eve and New Year’s Eve.
     Poupart’s Bakery is open from 7 a.m. to noon Thanksgiving.
     Prejean’s is open Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
     Randol’s is open Thanksgiving Eve, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
     Rice Palace in Crowley is open Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
     Ruth's Chris Steakhouse is open for all of the holidays. In fact, they are open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. every day of the year!
     Tsunami is open Thanksgiving Eve. 
     Whole Wheatery in the Oil Center is open Thanksgiving Eve and Christmas Eve. 
     Zea’s Rotisserie & Grill is open until 3 p.m. Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Holiday shopping in Acadiana

     It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas and that means it’s time to go shopping! Need a few suggestions? From large malls to souvenir and antique shops, Lafayette and its surrounding area collectively known as Acadiana have something for everyone. 
     ShopLafayette by Lafayette Travel spotlights fabulous shopping, warm and welcoming overnight stays and unique events for travelers and shoppers to enjoy. Visit the ShopLafayette website and on social media to get lots of shopping ideas from hundreds of merchants and businesses. Or visit our helpful interactive map to find the right spot. On Pinterest, you can view what Lafayette shops have to offer.
     New this year is the Acadiana Mall, which unveiled a new look in early November after months of extensive renovation.
     Some of the shopping areas in Lafayette include:
     Acadiana Mall
     The Oil Center
     Downtown Lafayette
     River Ranch Town Center and the Shops at River Ranch
     Parc Lafayette
     …and so much more!
     Between now and Christmas there are several fun shopping events. For instance, the Lafayette Art Association will host its “Marche Noel” or Holiday Art Market with dozens of local artists and crafters from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, at the gallery on 1008 East St. Mary Street in Lafayette.

     Christmas at Coteau, a holiday market with special events to raise funds for the Schools of the Sacre Heart at Grand Coteau, will be Dec. 6 and 7 in Grand Coteau, about 20 minutes north of Lafayette. This year’s schedule of events includes a Holiday Market, Coteau Café, Coteau Celebration, Le Petit-Déjeuner Avec Les Saints and a gourmet luncheon featuring the cuisine of Ruffino’s On The River.
     Check back as we update this blog for more holiday shopping ideas!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Steampunk visits Lafayette

      The Steampunk and Maker's Fair, a joint adventure between Cité des Arts and the Lafayette Science Museum, will be 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, at both attractions and the Lafayette Public Library in downtown Lafayette. 
      The Steampunk movement started as a literary genre that is associated with the industrialization of the late 1800s and the futuristic writings of Jules Verne. It has expanded into music, costuming, accessories and invention. Enter the “Maker's,” who are both inventors and producers that bring their unique ideas to life. The “marriage” of these two unique groups will showcase Lafayette as an incubator for creative people and inventors, including existing businesses.  
     The Festival will feature live performance, including music, contests of all kinds (fashion, literary, beards, etc.) demonstrations, food and vendors. (The Louisiana Beard and Facial Hair Association will be organizing the Fair Beard and Mustache Competition.) Special performances for "Steampunk after Dark" will be an original musical by Travis Guillory titled “The Undertaker and His Wife” and a performance of "Boom Boom Burlesque" at Cité Des Arts.
     InventureWorks will be organizing "The Vault" pitch event for University of Louisiana-Lafayette and South Louisiana Community College students of Industrial Design, Architecture and Engineering. Up to 10 students will be invited to participate with winners receiving valuable prizes as well as mentorship from the UL College of Business Administration and incubation at Louisiana Economic Development Authority’s Opportunity Machine. Ideas should be submitted electronically by Oct. 25 to the InventureWorks website at www.inventureworks.com/submit/. Visit www.inventureworks.com/vault for more information.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fall into great music with Acadiana Symphony Orchestra

     Join Maestro Mariusz Smolij and the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra this fall for three fun-filled and unique concerts.
     On Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, the orchestra presents “Legacy of the Atchafalaya Masterwork Concert No. 2” at 6 p.m. at the Heymann Performing Arts Center. The guest artists will be 2013 Grammy winners The Harlem Quartet performing beloved American classics and Christine Balfa will sing two ballads written by Glenn McClure honoring our Atchafalaya Basin, the country's largest river swamp. Beethoven’s bold and glorious masterpiece rounds out the program. 
     Bring the kids Saturday, Nov. 9, to watch Disney’s “Fantasia” on a large screen with the original soundtrack performed by the ASO. The fun begins with a pre-concert VIP party for children with musical games, dancing, face painting and cookies and milk with a real princess and other special guests. The movie with accompanying orchestra begins at 4 p.m., all at the Heymann Performing Arts Center.
     For the holidays, it’s “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, at the Heymann Performing Arts Center.
     For tickets to these and other ASO events, click here.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Spooky fun in Acadiana

     Monster Energy Drinks and the Lafayette Science Museum Foundation present the Museum of Fear on select days from Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 until Halloween night. Admission is $10 at the door and all proceeds directly benefit the Lafayette Science Museum. The haunted house is built on the third floor of the museum located on Jefferson Street in the heart of downtown Lafayette and is not suitable for very young children. Prepare to be scared! Information: (337) 291-5544, visit their Facebook page.
     Throughout October (and after Halloween) are ghostly walks given by Haunted Lafayette Tours. Tours include ghost tours, secret society tours and haunted pub crawls on Oct. 26 and 31.
     On Oct. 12-13 and 19-20, re-enactors will share stories of past citizens of the Opelousas area among cemetery tombs in “Voices from our Past: St. Landry Catholic Church Cemetery Tours.” Tours are 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $10 per person. Information: (337) 942-6552.
     On Saturday, Oct. 26, there will be several spooky activities, beginning with the Boo Bayou Fall Carnival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Vermilionville. 
     Lafayette author Cheré Coen signs copies of “Haunted Lafayette” from noon to 1 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, then joins mediums Vicky Cormier and Allyson Glynn Schram and Cajun Traiteur Becca Begnaud for a “Coffee, Tea and Spirit” discussion from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Little Big Cup in nearby Arnaudville. Coen will also tell spooky tales at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, at Carpe Diem Espresso Bar downtown, part of the “Otherworldly Voices” literary series.
     Downtown Lafayette’s Movies in the Parc presents “Night of the Living Dead” (1968) screening at dusk Oct 26 in the Downtown Drive-In Parking Lot, 725 Jefferson St. Gates open at 6 p.m. and admission is $2, children ages 5 and under admitted free. 
     Let out your inner zombie at the Lafayette Zombie Walk, which begins at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at Parc San Souci in downtown Lafayette. The event is free for the walking dead and all ages welcome. After the walk, all zombies arrive back at Parc San Souci for music, activities, drinks and food.
     The University of Louisiana-Lafayette Symphony presents its annual all-ages Halloween Concert on Tuesday, Oct. 29, in Angelle Hall Auditorium on the UL campus. Orchestra members will wear costumes and perform spooky music, such as "Phantom of the Opera," "March to the Scaffold" and "Die Fledermaus (The Bat)." There will be guest appearances by Shawn Roy, Garth Alper, Jeff George, the UL Dance Department, UL Chorus and Lafayette Ballet Theatre. Admission is $8 for adults, free to ages 17 and younger and UL and staff members with ID. All proceeds benefit the UL Lafayette Orchestra Program.
     Finally, on the big night of Halloween, trick or treating hours will be between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. within the City of Lafayette. The First Baptist Church of Lafayette will host its annual free Fall Fest from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., rain or shine, at the church at 1100 Lee Ave. downtown. Activities include a fun jump, games and "Trunk or Treat." Several food trucks will be available.
     Also on Halloween, as a fundraiser for Cite des Arts cultural arts center, there will be a special 7:30 p.m. screening of "Birth of the Living Dead," a documentary on the making of "Night of the Living Dead," plus a burlesque performance by Boom Boom Review at the Acadiana Center for the Arts. The Boom Boom Review will also perform at 9:30 p.m. Halloween night at Cite des Arts, 109 Vine St. in downtown Lafayette.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Un tour, s’il vous plait? Acadian Village to offer French tours

     LARC’s Acadian Village, a historic recreation of a Cajun-Creole village with authentic historic homes and buildings, is offering guided tours in English and French during Festivals Acadien et Creole (Oct. 11-13) this year.  
     Allen Simon, Acadian Village resident tour guide, will discuss Acadian culture, history and heritage and the history of LARC’s Acadian Village during the tours.  
     These special bilingual tours will be given at the following times and dates:
     Friday, Oct. 11 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.;
     Saturday, Oct. 12 at noon and 2 p.m.;
     Sunday, Oct. 13 at 2 p.m.; and 
     Monday, Oct. 14 at 2 p.m.

     For more information, visit www.acadianvillage.org

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Caffeinating Lafayette

            We love our coffee in South Louisiana, whether it’s straight black, with cream and sugar or full of those fancy new flavors. Because of our Creole and Cajun heritage, our coffee packs a punch — just like our flavorful cuisine!
            Like most cities, Lafayette has its share of Starbucks, plus Community Coffee restaurants, a Louisiana coffee producer with headquarters in Baton Rouge. But there are several locally owned coffee shops throughout Acadiana, plus Reve coffee roasters servicing the greater Acadiana area.
            Here are a few Lafayette coffee shops:
            America’s Coffee House downtown offers changing art exhibits, art events and comfy couches, plus free Wifi.
            Carpe Diem Gelato-Espresso Bar is another downtown spot where diners can purchase espressos, cappuccinos, lattes and café Americana, in addition to delectable gelato.
            Johnston Street Java offers coffee and locally produced baked goods, plus space for company, conversation and companionship in front of The Grand movie theater. Free Wi-Fi is available here and the restaurant includes a drive-through.
            In River Ranch, The Lab Handcrafted Coffees & Comforts provides coffees and teas but also cold sweet creams (a hybrid of ice cream and gelatos), artisan chocolate bars and pastries.

            Black Café in downtown Lafayette offers specialty coffees plus breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings. Their specialty are the Scottish Eggs, hard-boiled eggs wrapped in delicious items such as potatoes, pork sausage or chicken and fried.  
            Bibi’s Patisserie and Tea House is a dedicated gluten-free, low-glycemic, allergen friendly establishment that also serves up freshly made coffees.
           In neighboring Scott, there’s the Coffee Depot (be sure and sample the beignets) and in nearby Breaux Bridge, there’s Café Joie de Vivre.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

What’s new at the Lafayette Science Museum

     During the fall, the Lafayette Science Museum and Planetarium goes all out. 
     First, the museum hosts a “Bach Lunch” free music series beginning at 11:15 a.m. most Fridays in Parc San Souci, corner of Polk, Congress and Vermilion streets in downtown Lafayette. Restaurants serve up great food (by purchase) and bands perform free. 
     In October, the Museum of Fear opens nightly, a haunted house that’s so much more, and the month culminates with the Zombie Walk on Oct. 26. Folks in costumes (or perhaps escaping from “The Walking Dead”) begin their zombie trek from Parc San Souci and travel throughout the downtown Lafayette streets.
     “It’s so much fun to see people get scared,” said Kevin Krantz, director of the Lafayette Science Museum and Planetarium. “The Zombie Walk is more performance art than anything else.”
     Finally, on Nov. 9, the museum teams up with Cité des Arts for the annual Steampunk and Makers Fair
     In the works are more partnerships, one with the University of Louisiana-Lafayette’s Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE) Center, where the museum will highlight all of the impressive things happening at LITE.
     Another new feature to debut soon at the museum is the virtual aquarium.
     “We don’t have to clean it,” Krantz joked about the massive aquarium with hundreds of salt water fish people can view through 3-D glasses. “We don’t have to feed them either.”
     The following is the Bach Lunch schedule for fall, 2013:
     October 4: Les Freres Michot with food by Chris’ Po-Boys, Ema’s Café.
     October 11: The Mercy Brothers with food by Creole Lunch House, Hub City Diner, Joey’s Specialty Foods and Roly Poly.
     October 18: Sassafras Jubilee with food by Agave Cantina, O’Charley’s Restaurant and Joey’s Specialty Foods.
     October 25: The Yvette Landry Band with Chick Fil A, Deano’s, iMonelli and Poupart’s Bakery.
     November 1: Pine Leaf Trio with food by The French Press, Jefferson Street Pub and Zea’s Rotisserie & Grill.
     November 8: Les Bassettes with food by Cena to Go and Bailey’s Seafood & Grill.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cajun & Creole 101: La Boucherie and Cochon de Lait

     This Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013, Vermilionville offers a free Cochon de Lait demonstration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. that includes a history of the cochon de lait — or hog butchering — with Vermilionville artisan Jay Steiner, who will also serve as emcee for the day. There will be demonstrations on cracklin’ and boudin making with John Norbert, a soap-making demonstration with Vermilionville artisan Greg Guidroz and a full boucherie (communal butchering) using both traditional and new age methods. 
     Samples from the boucherie will be provided as well as samples of local Parish Brewing’s new Envie ale that pairs well with the sweetness of pork. Jambalaya, boudin, cracklin’ and pork stew will be available for purchase along with soft drinks, water, beer and mixed drinks throughout the day. Live music by Horace Trahan & Ossun Express will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Performance Center.
Cajun Microwave
     Admission is free and open to all ages. 
     Schedule:
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.: Food both, pig roasting demo
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Live pig viewing, kid's activities, Cajun Microwave demo
11 a.m. – Noon: Pig’s ear cooking demo, jam session
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.: La Cuisine de Maman restaurant is open
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Soap making demo
12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m.: Cochon de Lait history 
1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Parish Brewing beer tasting 
1 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Horace Trahan & Ossun Express performs
2 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Boudin making demo 
3 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Cochon de Lait tasting 

     For more information, call (337) 233-4077.

Friday, August 30, 2013

2013 African Diaspora Heritage Trail Conference

     This fall, the African Diaspora Heritage Trail Conference will be in Lafayette, offering notable speakers, cultural tours and fascinating presentations. 
     The conference is scheduled for Oct. 9-12, 2013, and will offer thought-provoking conversations and first-hand experiences of how to preserve, promote and protect sites that are important to the global narrative of people and culture of African descent. 
     Featured presentations are:
     “Africans in Louisiana” by Dr. Ibrahima Seck
     “The Creole Journey to the Promised Land” by Charles Larroque, Dr. Ray Brassieur and Dr. Jihad Muhammad
     “Roots to Routes: Creating the Creole Homeland with Music and Dance” by Nick Spitzer from National Public Radio
     Haitian Mission Project: “International Day for People of African Descent for Recognition, Justice and Development” by Ambassador Savadogo (presentation in French and English)
     Breakout sessions include:
     “Cultural Tourism and Entrepreneurship” with Minister Percy Paris, Wayn Hamilton and Georgina Dhillon, moderator Charles Larroque
     “Development of Local Heritage Trails” with Dr. Kim Dismont Robinson of the ADHT Board of Directors
     “Long Road to Freedom: Civil Rights in Louisiana and Beyond” with Keith Weldon Medley, Kathe Hambrick-Jackson and Melba Danzie Braud, moderator Ted Maris
     “The Creole French Languages and Challenges to Its Viability” with French Creole-speaking citizens, moderator Dr. Ray Brassieur
     “The Role of African American Museums and Repositories: The Resurgence and Responsibility of Institutions Chronicling the Lives, Including Migration Patterns of Africans in the Diaspora” with Dr. Carol Adams, Masequa Myers and Gail Adams, moderator Dr. Sharon Telleen
     “Slaves and Sugar: Transatlantic exchange in Louisiana, the Caribbean and Africa” with Dr. Ibrahima Seck, Jean-Marc Masseaut and Dr. Barry Jean Ancelet, moderator Dr. Jordan Kellman
     In addition, the ADHT Conference gives attendees a chance to experience the Creole culture of South Louisiana first-hand. The opening ceremonies will be held at Vermilionville, a folk life museum featuring the life of the Cajuns and Creoles between 1765 and 1890. The 23-acre park on the Vermilion River features 18 structures in a living history museum setting. A Creole dinner will be served while Grammy Award-winning zydeco musician Chubby Carrier performs for the group. There will also be presentations on "The Healer's Garden" by Creole folklorist Rebecca Henry and Creole Mardi Gras traditions with Avoyelles Indians of Southwest Louisiana.
      The ADHT Conference will close with one of Louisiana's biggest celebrations of the Cajun and Creole cultures of South Louisiana — Festivals Acadiens et Créoles. Since 1977, Festivals Acadiens et Creoles has been preserving the Cajun and Creole heritages of Louisiana through presentation of the music, food, crafts and traditions at this annual fall festival. This year, the festival is honoring the Cajun and Creole Cowboys, who have a longstanding horse culture originating in 1765. This year's festival is also dedicated to one of our most prominent cowboy musicians, Boozoo Chavis, who helped to define zydeco as it was emerging in the 1950s.

      For more information and to register, go to AfricanDiaspora2013.com. To keep up with the latest news, like the ADHT 2013 Facebook page.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cajun ingenuity

     People in South Louisiana know how to make something out of practically nothing. Recycling is an old concept on the bayou, where making due with what you have is a lifestyle.
     Take the Bathtub Madonna, for instance. South Louisiana residents are heavily Catholic, which is why visitors will see Madonna statues and little altars everywhere. If finances are tight, or the outer grotto has been damaged, an upright bathtub will do the trick to cover the Virgin Mother.
     Another example is staying cool. In the depths of deep summer we will use anything to fill with water and chill out. 
     That’s why Downtown Lafayette and Townsquare Media are celebrating the Hottest Night of the Year, Aug. 23, 2013, with a family-friendly, summer blowout party from 7-10 p.m. at Parc Sans Souci in downtown Lafayette. There will be water slides, fire dancers, the Sans Souci fountain (feel free to jump in), cold beverages and DJ Digital from Hot 107.9! After the sun goes down, there will be a live performance from One Trick Pony. Best of all, admission is free! 
     But here’s where Cajun ingenuity comes in. The party includes a contest for the best Pickup Pool prize. In other words, bring your pickup trucks, fill up the cab with water and saw us your best pool idea.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Learn Cajun culture at annual Acadian Culture Day

     Want to learn all about the Cajun culture. Here’s your chance. The Bayou Vermilion District celebrates its annual Acadian Culture Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013, at Vermilionville. The event happens near National Acadian Day, held every year on Aug. 15. 
     Vermilionville’s Acadian Culture Day focuses on family folklore and will include tarte cooking demonstrations, artisan demonstrations such as trapping, creating Job’s tear rosaries, quilting, wood carving, Mardi Gras capuchon and mask making, open hearth cooking and old-time washing and clothesline hanging. In addition, there will be canoe trips on Le Petit Bayou, games and crafts for children including tintamarre noise makers, rag dolls and Acadiana flag making and sharing circles on “Healing Traditions & Superstitions.”
     Best of all, it’s free. 
     The film “Tintamarre — On the Trail of Acadians in North America” by André Gladu and “T’Galop: A Louisiana Horse Story” by Conni Castille will be screened and La Recolte Band and the Al Berard Family Band will perform in the Performance Center with dance lessons beforehand. 
     Each year for Acadian Culture Day Vermilionville presents a representative of the community with the Acadian Cultural Preservation Award in recognition of outstanding lifetime contributions to the preservation of the culture and the community. This year’s recipient is Richard Guidry for his impact on multiple levels of the Acadian community.
     Past award recipients include: the Michot Family, Pat Mire, Aldus Roger, Floyd Sonnier, Camey Doucet, Warren Perrin, Eddie Richard, A.J. LeBlanc, Karl Breaux, Pete Bergeron, Elaine Clément, Dr. Carl A. Brasseaux, Dr. Ray Brassieur and Edward Cazayoux.

     For more information, visit http://www.vermilionville.org.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bring your dancing shoes when you visit Lafayette

     In Lafayette, we dance all the time. On any given night, you can find dance floors buzzing with the tunes of Cajun and zydeco music, or rock, blues, folk and other genres. 
     Here are a few places that offer live music and dancing:
     Randol’s serves up fabulous fresh seafood, and also live music and dancing nightly. The dance floor’s extensive and on many nights you’ll find Lafayette’s best two-stepping and waltzing, willing to give you pointers. 
     Blue Moon Saloon & Guesthouse is both a hostel and a live music venue. It’s dance floor is small but that doesn’t keep people from kicking up their heals.
     Prejean’s is another fabulous Cajun restaurant that offers live music nightly. There’s no formal dance floor, per se, but no one — and we really mean this — will ever complain if you get up and dance.
     You can view dancers waltzing and two-stepping in videos on Pont Breaux’s web site. The Breaux Bridge restaurant serves up great Cajun food with its nightly music and dancing. 
     La Poussiere Cajun Dancehall in Breaux Bridge is one of the oldest authentic Cajun dancehalls in Acadiana. It’s been labeled “La Petite Cathedrale de Musique Cajien” or “The Little Cathedral of Cajun Music.” 
     For authentic zydeco music, check out El Sid-O’s in Lafayette and Slim’s Y-Ki-Ki in Opelousas. We’re talking the real deal here. 
     In Henderson, choose between Angelle’s Whiskey Landing and McGee’s Landing, restaurant-live music venues on the edge of the Atchafalaya Swamp. Talk about ambience!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

More nature trails are coming!

    Lafayette Consolidated Government has been awarded two federal grants to help fund the expansion of the multi-use Atakapa-Ishak Trail and the Acadiana Hills Bike Route/AI Trail Pedestrian Infill. Both projects will provide roughly 11.4 miles of new bicycle and pedestrian facilities within the Lafayette area.
    And cyclists can look for “Share the Road” signs now installed on popular bike routes in the northeast section of Lafayette Parish.
      A Share the Road Bike Ride is scheduled Saturday, July 20, 2013, in celebration.
     The Atakapa-Ishak Trail is a multi-use trail named for the indigenous Indian tribe of the same name. When completed, the bike and hiking trail will connect Lafayette to the nearby communities of Breaux Bridge and St. Martinville. In Breaux Bridge, the joint-use trailhead at Parc des Ponts will serve users of both the AI Trail and the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail.
    Phase 1 of the AI Trail opened in February 2011; Phase 2 is currently being constructed and should open for use by late Fall 2013.
     The other grant will help fund the Acadiana Hills bike route and pedestrian infill along the AI Trail Phase 1, providing signage and pavement markings plus fund pedestrian infrastructure infill.
    Many cyclists enjoy touring the rural roads and highways of northeast Lafayette Parish so Lafayette Consolidated Government fabricated and installed the Share the Road signs that now mark the more highly used routes.
     “In Louisiana, motorists are required by law to share the road with bicyclists, except where bicycles are expressly forbidden, such as on interstate highways,” explained Jennifer Severson, the bikeway planner who worked on the project. “When passing a cyclist, motorists must maintain a minimum three feet of distance between the motor vehicle and the bicyclist. The Share the Road signs remind motorists to be aware of cyclists along these routes and provide the space necessary for both motorists and cyclists to coexist safely on the road.”
     Both the Rotary Club of Lafayette North and the Tri Cajuns Triathlon Club, which trains on these routes, encouraged this project.
    BikeLafayette, a local bicyclist advocacy organization, will host a Share the Road Ride on Saturday, July 20, 2013, beginning at 8 a.m. Routes of varying lengths are planned, all departing from and returning to the parking area at Acadiana Park on East Alexander Street. The ride will begin with opening comments and a brief ceremony. All cyclists are welcome. Visit bikelafayette.org for more information.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Piecing together Lafayette

    Quilting is a vibrant art in Acadiana — with a French accent!
    On Tuesday, July 16, 2013, the Lafayette Consolidated Government elected officials and staff and members of Quilters’ Guild Acadienne will unveil the Marquis de Lafayette Quilt at 11 a.m. in the Lafayette Consolidated Government atrium at City Hall, 705 W. University Ave.
    The original commemorative quilt features “Lafayette and Washington, an Enduring Friendship,” showcasing how the two men — and two nations — became friends during the American Revolution and helped forged a nation. The quilt was designed and created by members of the Quilters’ Guild Acadienne using the techniques of hand and machine quilting, hand appliqué, embroidery, couching and fabric inking.
    The Marquis quilt was created to honor the 250th anniversary of the birth of the Marquis de LaFayette, a native of France and American Revolutionary War hero and for whom the City of Lafayette is named. It has been displayed in Washington, D.C. and other venues.
    The Marquis quilt will be on permanent loan and displayed at City Hall where it can be viewed by the public.
    In addition, this weekend brings a Quilt Show to neighboring Krotz Springs, where quilts, a silent auction and a boutique will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 13, at the Alon Recreation Center, 324 S. Levee Road in Krotz Springs, about an hour outside Lafayette.
    On Thursdays in July, Les Coudre Points quilt group will meet at 1:30 p.m. for a quilting “en français” in Arnaudville. Si vous êtes débutant ou si vous souhaitez faire fonctionner à nouveau, rejoignez-nous. (If you are just starting or wish to get working again, join us.) For more information, call (337) 754-7115.
    The Borne Quilter, a quilting shop at 1507 Kaliste Saloom Road, offers quilting classes and owner Renee-Claire Borne speaks French as well.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Where are the fireworks?

    If you’re wondering who’s offering a pyrotechnic show this Fourth of July, here’s an easy run-down on fireworks displays for Lafayette and surrounding towns.
    Lafayette — Fireworks begins at 9:15 p.m. in Parc International downtown, part of the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra’s “Red, White and Boom!” performance and celebration which begins at 5 p.m. (Read our previous blog!)
    Youngsville — Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. at Sugar Mill Pond Town Center, 101 Waterview Road in Youngsville.
    Broussard — Fireworks kick off at 9 p.m. at Home Depot, 213 St. Nazaire Road in Broussard. Hot dogs and drinks will be on sale at the store beginning at 5 p.m., with all sales benefiting Miles Perret Cancer Services.
    Eunice — For almost 30 years, the former Mayor and licensed pyrotechnic, Kenneth Peart, orchestrates a 30-minute display beginning at 9 p.m. at Eunice Recreation Complex, 461 Sittig Road in Eunice.  
    Krotz Springs — Fireworks on the River begins at 9 p.m. at Nall Park, 562 Front St. in Krotz Springs. Prior to the fireworks, there will be music, children’s activities, hot dogs and watermelon.
    Erath – The 67th annual Erath Fourth of July celebration includes a 9 p.m. fireworks display, but you might want to get there early for the 10 a.m. water fight between area fire departments or the July Fourth parade at 5 p.m. with live music afterwards.
    New Iberia - The New Iberia Independence Day Parade begins at 6 p.m., followed by music and fireworks, at Main Street and Bouligny Plaza.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

What’s on your summer bucket list?

    We’d like to know.

    However, if you could use some help with ideas, let us offer a few:
    Ride the Acadian Ambulance at the Children’s Museum of Acadiana.
    Eat a banana split at Borden’s Ice Cream Shoppe at Jefferson Street and Johnston, the last Borden’s store of its kind in existence.  
    Visit alligators up close and personal at Lake Martin.
    Eat gourmet food from a truck at any of the dozen or more gourmet food trucks of Lafayette.
    Walk the Horse Farm and visit its century-old live oaks after enjoying the Saturday morning Farmers’ Market.
    Sip wine, view artwork and listen to the Cajun jam session at the Second Saturday ArtWalk throughout downtown Lafayette.
    Dance in the San Souci water fountain, which is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day!
    Bike the Attakapas-Ishak Multi-Use Trail from downtown Lafayette to Beaver Park.
    Take a hike through the Acadiana Park Nature Station.
    Learn about solar energy and sustainable living at the UL-Lafayette BeauSoleil House and then feed the ducks in nearby Girard Park.
University Art Museum
    At noon on Wednesdays meet Planetarium Director David Hostetter at the Lafayette Science Museum and use his telescope to view sunspots.
    Play in the rain (unless it’s lightning). It usually happens every afternoon during the summer.
    Step inside the giant egg, also known as the LITE Center (Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise).
San Souci Fountain
    Listen to experts discuss art at the Paul & Lulu University Art Museum.
    Practice your French at one of the many French Tables held throughout Acadiana.
    Travel back in time to learn how Cajuns and Creoles lived at Acadian Village.
    Take thee out to a ballgame — the Acadiana Cane Cutters play baseball at Fabacher Field at Southside Regional Park in Youngsville.
    Canoe the Vermilion — guided canoe trips are offered at Vermilionville and a put-in spot is now available at the Acadiana Park Nature Station.

    Visit the office of Downtown Development District and pick up a walking brochure of downtown, then enjoy gelato and espresso at Carpe Diem Gelato & Espresso Bar.
    Try to sample as many of the EatLafayette restaurants as you can until Sept. 2, when the campaign ends.
    Eat a snow cone.
    Wow, we could go on forever. What’s on your bucket list?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A fun-filled Fourth scheduled for downtown Lafayette!

    In Lafayette, the Fourth of July celebration happens all day July 4, 2013, and includes a variety of fun-filled activities on three stages downtown.
    Grammy nominee Corey Ledet & His Zydeco Band performs at 5 p.m. on the Freedom Fest Stage and continues with Lafayette’s Bayou Boys at 7 p.m.
    Families can enjoy the Conservatory KidZone in Parc Sans Souci with interactive children’s music every hour beginning at 5:15 p.m., an instrument petting zoo, face painting, patriotic arts and crafts, balloon animals, and more!
    The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra & Conservatory of Music presents Red, White & BOOM! with Grammy winner Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band (above right) headlining the celebration at 6:30 p.m. in Parc International. Chubby Carrier, dubbed as “The World’s Premier Zydeco Showman,” will perform with the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra for the annual patriotic concert following Chubby’s opening act.
    The Grand Finale Fireworks show concludes the day, beginning at 9:15 p.m.
    Gates open and festivities begin at 5 p.m. Admission is $5 per person with access to all three stages.
    The Acadiana Symphony has partnered with FoodNet and offers one free concession ticket in exchange for five non-perishable food items. FoodNet’s most needed food items are boxed cornbread, canned tuna and peas. 
    Food and beverages will be sold on site, and please, no ice chests. Proceeds from Red, White and BOOM! support the Conservatory’s early childhood music education programs.
    For more information, call (337) 232-4277, Ext. 1, visit www.acadianasymphony.org, or the Symphony’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/acadianasymphony.