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 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.