Monday, September 26, 2011

Grammy winner Chubby Carrier entertains Friday at Music & Market

    Music & Market in Opelousas continues Friday, Sept. 30 with the sounds of Grammy award-winner Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Farmer’s Market in Le Vieux Village, just on exit 19B at I-40. Music begins at 6 p.m. 
    Born in Church Point, Carrier is the third generation of zydeco artists with such famous relatives as Roy Carrier (father), Warren Carrier (grandfather), and cousins Bebe and Calvin Carrier who are presently considered legends in Creole and zydeco music history.
Chubby Carrier
    Carrier began his musical career at the age of 12 by playing drums with his father's band. By the time he was 17, he had started to play with Terrance Simien, before forming his own band in 1989.
    The Bayou Swamp Band has recorded five CDs over the past 10 years. The band has traveled all over the world, performing to audiences in all parts of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, Canada, North Africa and Europe.
    Carrier and band are the winners of the Best Zydeco and Cajun Music Album category of the 53rd annual Grammy award for the CD, “Zydeco Junkie. “
    Eggplant is the featured vegetable at Friday’s Music & Market. Concert-goers are welcome to bring lawn chairs for seating. Because beverages sales for the concert series go towards covering the cost of bands and event expenses, ice chests will not be allowed. The event is held at the Farmer’s Market Pavilion located at 828 East Landry St. on the grounds of the Opelousas Tourist Center. 
    The fall series is made possible with the support of Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino, CLECO, Walmart Supercenter, American Bank, St. Landry Homestead Bank, Centerpoint Energy, Tony Chachere’s Creole Foods, Quik Quarter, Delta Media Network, St. Landry Parish Government.
     For more information or to find out about vendor opportunities, contact City of Opelousas Tourism Office at 337-948-5227 or 337-948-6263 or visit

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Zydeco Festival, free events highlight Oct. 1 weekend

     St. Landry Parish offer chances to celebrate the arrival of October with 10, live music events during the first weekend of the month. Many events offer free admission and all show why St. Landry Parish is the home of zydeco music and a hotbed of Cajun music.
    Give your dancing shoes a workout with these events:
·         Grammy winner Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band entertain at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30 at the free Music & Market concert series at the Farmers M arket Pavilion, just off I-49 exit 19B in Opelousas. Local farmers will sell and offer samples of eggplant, the featured vegetable of the week. .
Zydeco Festival in Plaisance
·         Country singer Jaryd Lane and zydeco star Geno Delafose perform a free show from 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday in the Events Center at Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casinos. All guests with a free Player’s Card will receive $5 in Free Play on the casino floor. .
·         Zydeco favorites Same Ol’ Two Step play a free dance at 9 p.m. Friday in Mojo’s Sports Bar in Evangeline Downs.
·         Bring an instrument or just tap your toes at the free Savoy Music Jam Session from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Savoy Music Center, 4413 Hwy 190, in Eunice. These world-famous Cajun jams have been taking place every Saturday morning since 1966. (337) 457-9563.
·         The 29th annual Original Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Music Festival kicks off at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Zydeco Park in Plaisance. Tropical Storm Lee postponed the festival from its Sept. 3 date. Chubby Carrier opens the fest, followed by Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas, Geno Delafose, J.J. Caillier, Lil Nathan, J. Paul, Step Rideau and Corey Ledet. Tickets, $15.
Wilson Savoy of the Pine Leaf Boys
·         Get up close and personal with Cajun musicians performing at 3 p.m. every Saturday at the Jean Lafitte Prairie Acadian Culture Center, 250 W. Park Ave., in Eunice. (337) 457-8499.
·         The Pine Leaf Boys,  four-time Grammy nominees, play the entire 90-minute show of the Rendez-Vous des Cajuns radio and TV show at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Liberty Theater in downtown Eunice. Admission, $5. .
·         Zydeco icons Keith Frank and Chris Ardoin headline the First Annual Nu Step Trail Ride Saturday night at the IFBS Lodge, 6240 Highway 31, near Leonville. The ride leaves at 11 a.m. Sunday and returns in the afternoon for music by Brian Jack, Chris Ardoin and special guest Leah. $10 per night, $20 weekend pass. (337) 371-5502.
·         Cajun and Creole music, old time, honky tonk, cowboy music and more are part of the free monthly jam session from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 2 Tom’s Fiddles, 204 Fuselier Road, in Arnaudville. Jammers bring food and ice tea to serve.
    While you’re in the area, check out the J. S. Clark School Reunion Exhibit at the Opelousas Museum and Interpretive Center, Farmer’s Markets in Eunice and Opelousas, antiques at the Sunset Market and Auction House and more. For more information on all these events, call the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission at (337) 948-8004 or visit

Monday, September 19, 2011

Da Hurricanes blow into town for Music & Market

    A special Music & Market gets underway Friday, Sept. 23 at the St. Landry Parish Courthouse Square in Opelousas with the flavorful sounds of Da Hurricanes. This variety band takes the downtown stage in conjunction with the announcement of the Wild About Downtown banner art winners. The event happens from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., with music at 6:00 p.m.
    Da Hurricanes is a classic rock 'n' roll, R&B cover band made up of a diverse group of professionals who are also professional musicians at heart. The original band was created in New Orleans in the early '80s, while members Dr. Kerry Thibodeaux and Cliff Broussard were obtaining degrees of higher educations and played many notable New Orleans venues with a solid fan following. When Thibodeaux opened his medical practice in Opelousas in the early '90s, he recruited long time friend and musician, Stephen "Big Daddy" Morrow. Later the group added Jim Gates & Don Demourelle to the ensemble and enjoy making music in and around Acadiana. 
    Da Hurricanes is made up of lead singer and lead guitar Clifford Broussard. In addition to his music, Broussard is the CEO of Willis-Knighton Bossier City Health Care System. Thibodeaux, rhythm guitar and vocals, is a Board Certified General Surgeon, Vascular Surgeon, and Medical Director of The Wound Treatment Center at Opelousas General Health System. 
    Morrow, bass player, is the managing partner of the legal firm Morrow, Gates & Morrow. He boasts a large professional music career, as he plays with a large number of bands, which include the legendary Boogie All-Stars (formerly known as the Fabulous Boogie Kings), Machine and many more. Drummer Jim Gates, who is a partner at Morrow, Gates & Morrow, is finally realizing his childhood dream of being the drummer for a classic rock band. Don Demourelle, along time nursing professional in Acadiana, follows Morrow in playing music with other bands including The Chapter and Chapter Two. Demourelle, who us the keyboard player for the group is affectionately referred to as "The Cajun Billy Preston." 
    In conjunction with the event, Opelousas Main Street, Inc. will announce the winners of the Wild About Downtown banner art project. The outdoor banner art exhibit kicked off in April and featured 31 banners throughout the downtown area. 
     During the five-month exhibit, viewers were able to cast their vote for their favorite banners. Winners of the student division are scheduled to be announced at 6:30 p.m. while adult division winners will be announced at 7 p.m. Beginning Saturday, Sept. 24, folks will be able to bid on their favorite banners via eBay. Proceeds raised help Opelousas Main Street, Inc, a 501c organization, fulfill its mission to build long-term sustainable downtown revitalization. 
    While the highlighted vegetable for the September 23rd h event will be Hibiscus Tea. Veronica Fuselier with the St. Landry Parish Farmers Market will serve up the homegrown beverage. Other music acts throughout the series include Chubby Carriere & the Bayou Swamp Band, Greg Martinez, Hadley Castille & the Sharecropper Cajun Band with special guests Donnie & the Pooldoos, River Road and Geno Delafose & French Rockin Boogie. 
    Music & Market happens from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., with music beginning at 6:00 p.m. Concert-goers are welcome to bring lawn chairs for seating. Because beverages sales for the concert series go towards covering the cost of bands and event expenses, ice chests will not be allowed. 
    The fall series is made possible with the support of Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino, CLECO, Walmart Supercenter, American Bank, St. Landry Homestead Bank, Centerpoint Energy, Tony Chachere’s Creole Foods, Quik Quarter, Delta Media Network, St. Landry Parish Government. 
    Farmers interested in vending opportunities should contact St. Landry Parish County Ag Extension Office at (337) 948-0561. Food vendors as well as art and craft vendors interested in booth space should contact the Opelousas Office of Tourism at (337) 948-6263. To print a schedule of the fall 2011 line up, visit

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Screening, arts series finale set for Visitor Information Center

    Queen of the Sun: What the Bees are Telling Us, an award-winning documentary on the global honeybee crisis, will be shown at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17 at the new St. Landry Parish Visitor Information Center. The center is located at exit 23 on I-49, just north of Opelousas.
    Queen of the Sun follows colorful, alternative and inspiring beekeepers from all around the globe as they keep bees in natural and holistic ways. The film also examines Colony Collapse Disorder, which has been causing bees to disappear in mass numbers from their hives with no clear, single explanation.
    Famed movie critic Roger Ebert called the movie, “A remarkable documentary that’s also one of the most beautiful nature films I’ve seen.” Christine Champ of described the movie as “Stunning... as soulful as it is scientific, as uplifting as it is alarming.”
    Admission is free to the documentary screening, which is sponsored by St. Landry Homestead and a partnership with the LSUE Foundation, Friends of the LeDoux Library and LSUE Continuing Education.
    The documentary screening follows the final edition of the art series First Fridays with a Little Lagniappe, set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 16 at the center. The finale features Darrell Bourque, former Louisiana Poet Laureate, and writer Patrice Melnick in “A Piece of Art is Worth a Thousand Words.”
    A nationally-acclaimed poet, scholar and teacher, Bourque won the UL Lafayette Outstanding Teacher Award in 1996 and the UL Lafayette Distinguished Professor Award in 1997. He is the author of four books of poetry.
    Melnick taught for 13 years at Xavier University in New Orleans, where she founded one of the first creative writing programs at a historically-black university. Following Hurricane Katrina, Melnick opened a gift shop in Grand Coteau and started a literary reading and open mic series. She’s the founder of the annual Festival of Words, which highlights established and emerging artists.
    For more information on these events, call the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission at (337) 948-8004 or visit Follow the center on Twitter @StLandryParish or on Facebook at St. Landry Parish – It’s Gumbo for Your Soul.


Allons Roulee' bike ride rolls this weekend

    Cyclists will take to roads throughout St. Landry Parish this weekend, part of the Allons Roulee’ Bike Ride scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 17, beginning at the St. Landry Parish Courthouse Square in downtown Opelousas. Over 140 participants have signed up for the inaugural ride which was previously scheduled for Sept. 3, but moved due to Tropical Storm Lee. Two routes, 25 and 50 miles, will offer riders scenic landscapes including moss-draped oaks, winding bayous, pastures with grazing cattle, prairie lands and former Native American tribal lands. 
    The ride, which rolls from Opelousas, takes riders through towns such as Washington, Grand Coteau, Leonville and Arnaudville. Sag stops for the bike ride will be located at the new St. Landry Parish Visitor Information Center, just off I-49 at exit 23. 
    Start times are 7 a.m. for the 50-mile and 8 a.m. for the 25-mile ride. Participants can pre-register for the event. The event is geared to riders 16 and older and various cycling levels. After the ride participants can feast on boudin and refreshments hosted by Opelousas Main Street Inc. and St. Landry Parish Krewe de Velo, a local cycling group in St. Landry Parish. 
    Allons Roulee’ is presented by St. Landry Parish Krewe de Velo,’ with support by LHC Group, Opelousas Main Street, Inc., Cleco, Capital Cyclery, Morninghveg & Castille Jewelers, Clerk of Court Charlie Jagneaux, Ventura Foods, Alon USA, Hole Pluggers, Washington State Bank, American Bank, St. Landry Bank, Opelousas Police Dept., Williams Progressive, Lastrape’s Nursery, and St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission as well as assistance St. Landry Parish Government and local law officials. 
    In the spring of 2009, a handful of indoor cycling enthusiasts from St. Landry Parish set out on a course to give road cycling a try. Some six months later, the same group had grown from less than a dozen to over 30 riders. Two years later, that number is still growing strong with organized rides taking place on early Sunday mornings and frequently on Saturdays. 
    For more information about weekend ride times and about Allons Roulee,’ contact Jennifer at or 337-945-4969.