Tuesday, November 29, 2011

“Floodwall” memorial takes one last trip at Arnaudville celebration

    The Hurricane Katrina memorial "Floodwall" completes its world journey Saturday in Arnaudville. On the banks of Bayou Fuselier, final sections of the Mississippi River's Algiers Levee, a 192-foot long installation, are simultaneously set ablaze.
    Artist Jana Napoli gives two of the four-by-eight-foot panels of the standing art sculpture to Arnaudville’s annual Le Feu et l’Eau (Fire and Water) Celebration for participation in the torching. The sculpture incorporates approximately 700 discarded bureau and cabinet drawers.
    "We are joining in the act of sending to memory a most remarkable and moving work of art,” said George Marks, founder and chairman of Le Feu et l’Eau. “The act of burning the pieces is in itself an opportunity to people to experience a last aspect of the power of this work.” 
    Arnaudville’s participation also serves as a reminder that Le Feu et l’Eau Celebration was created as a means to provide displaced New Orleans artists opportunity to sell work while still far from home, Marks said. 
    Le Feu et l’Eau Celebration is one of Acadiana's most interactive and entertaining events showcasing art, culture, music and food. 
    The discarded drawers are each identified by the location from where they were collected -- Gentilly, Central City, Uptown, the East, Bywater, Carrollton, the French Quarter, the Ninth Ward, Lakeview and Mid-City. They serve as reminders of the real people who experienced more than physical loss. Poignantly empty, each of these drawers once contained the artifacts of someone’s daily life and the keepsakes of a personal history. 
    The “Floodwall” section is displayed at the Steeple Vue Gallery through Saturday’s celebration. Viewers will have access to an interactive Website featuring an interview with the artist. During torching ceremonies, communications between the two sites will be conducted through a live stream projected onto a viewing screen. 
    Napoli has exhibited both nationally and internationally and has received several awards for her work, among them, the Oprah Winfrey ‘Use your life award” (2002) and a President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities award (1999). 
    “Floodwall” continues its long-standing dedication to the intersection of art and community-building but also integrates the themes of the unspoken and the unseen. 
    Le Feu et l’Eau Celebration begins with a 9 a.m. ribbon cutting at the new NuNu Arts and Culture Collective on La. 93. The torching takes place at 8 p.m. The celebration concludes at 10 p.m. 
    For more information visit www.fireandwater.home.com.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cajun dance competition highlights weekend in St. Landry Parish

        The first round of the LA 31 Cajun Dance Competition is set for 9 p.m.  Friday during the Old Time Barn Dance at Lakeview Park, located on Highway 13, three miles north of Eunice. Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, with guest drummer Jamey Bearb and fiddler David Greely, provide the music.
    Sponsored in part by Bayou Teche Brewing of Arnaudville, makers of LA 31 Beer, the competition will host additional contests in November and December in Henderson, Breaux Bridge and Lafayette.  Winners from each contest will receive prizes and qualify for the Jan. 22 finals. The finals winner gets a seven-day Caribbean Cruise with the Cajun band Bon Soir Catin and Tony Goulas.
    For more information, contact Karlos Knott at (337) 303-8000 or visit www.bayoutechebrewing.com.
   Other events going on this weekend in St. Landry Parish include:
·         Keith Frank and the Soileau Zydeco Band play Friday night and J. Paul and the Zydeco NuBreedz entertain Saturday night at Slim’s Y-Ki-Ki, 8741 Highway 182, in Opelousas.  Slim’s, a legendary zydeco dance hall, has been in business since 1947. (337) 942-6242.
·         Live quarter horse racing continues at 5:40 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino, 2235 Creswell Lane, in Opelousas. The season continues each Wednesday through Saturday until Dec. 17. www.evangelinedowns.com.
·         Geno Delafose and French Rockin’ Boogie play zydeco, Cajun music and more at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Mojo’s, located at Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino in Opelousas.  (337) 594-3000, www.evangelinedowns.com.
Cajun fiddler Hadley Castille
·         Merlin Fontenot and Friends entertain at the weekly Rendez-Vous des Cajun radio and TV show at the Liberty Theater, 200 W. Park Ave, in downtown Eunice. Jesse Belleau and Cajun Melody also perform. (337) 457-7389, www.eunice-la.com.
·         Cajun fiddler Hadley J. Castille plays the Music of Acadiana series at 2 p.m. Sunday at NuNu’s, 1510 Hwy 93, in Arnaudville. The event begins with an open jam session, followed by an interview with Castille and a performance. Admission is $5, free for children 12 and younger. Food and drink will be available.
·         Horse and carriage rides through candlelit streets are part of Grand Noel Saturday in Grand Coteau. (337) 662-1032, www.casaazul.homestead.com.
·         Decorated streets and shops, Christmas choirs and a visit from Santa are part of Jingle & Mingle: Three Nights of Christmas in Sunset, which kicks off 5-8 p.m. Thursday and continues Dec. 2-3. Each night, each participating shop will have a drawing for a Christmas gift.
    In other events, Gray R. Steckler’s oil and acrylic art exhibit continues through Dec. 30 at the Opelousas Museum and Interpretive Center, 315 N. Main St., in downtown Opelousas.  A St. Landry Parish resident and retired attorney, Steckler has created art that has been shown in galleries, museums and libraries throughout the state. Call (337) 948-2589 for details.
    For more information on all these events, call the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission at (337) 948-8004 or visit www.cajuntravel.com.  Follow us on Facebook at St. Landry Parish – It’s Gumbo for Your Soul and Twitter @StLandryParish.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Opelousas hosts Historic Holiday Home Tour

    Discover Louisiana’s third oldest city and catch the spirit of the season at the Historic Opelousas Holiday Home Tour scheduled for 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4 in downtown Opelousas. Presented as a preservation project by Opelousas Main Street, Inc., the tour includes stops at four distinct historic homes which all have a unique design and special stories. Architectural styles range from Colonial Revival to Queen Anne. 

The Perrault - Weaver Home
809 S. Court St.
    This home was built of cypress in 1891 by Judge William Charles Perrault, who later became District Judge of St. Landry and Acadia Parishes, and his wife Amanda Lastrapes Perrault, The home contains a parlor, living and dining rooms, four bedrooms and two porches. Sometime after the turn of the century, additions were made to the rear of the home and to the south side of the home. The persimmon tree in the front yard, well over 100 –years old, is believed to be one of the oldest producing persimmon trees in the state. In 2003, the home as purchased by Bob and Melanie Weaver who have named it Persimmon Place.

Veazie-Pavy Home
The Rozas Home
209 N. Liberty

    This Colonial Revival home was built in 1939 for $50,000 behind a beautifully landscaped yard by Alice Boagni Rozas and her husband, Dr. Sidney J. Rozas . Later, the home was owned by their daughter, Mary Ann Rozas Nicholson. The home is constructed of cypress and the massive solid columns along the front originate from Chicago. The home includes five bedrooms, four baths, and formal living and dining rooms with crystal chandeliers, and an outside maid’s quarters . The floors are beautifully buffed oak. The home was purchased in 2006 by Marvin Jr. & Natalie Schwartzenburg. 

Rudolph Adelbert Mayer Home
629 E. Bellevue

    Located on the corner of Bellevue and Cane streets, this home was built in 1874 of cypress on three-and-a-half feet, raised brick pillars. The home was built by Rudolf Adelbert Sebastian Mayer, a professor of music who was born in the Nymphenburg Palace in Germany. 
    Mayer invented the first breech loading rifle patented to M. Martini and was used by the British Army for over 20 years. The professor moved to Louisiana in 1852 and married Mary Dunnon O’Rourke and the home has remained in the family ever since. 
    The home depicts a Louisiana galleried cottage with Italianate influence. It features a typical full front gallery and dormered roof. The ceilings are 12 feet throughout the home with a beautiful cypress staircase in the foyer. A beautiful mallard suite can be found inside. The home is now owned by the great-grandson of Adelbert Mayer, Jonathan Sebastien and his wife, Justine. 

Veazie-Pavy Home
130 West Vine St.
    Located on the corner of Vine and Market Streets, this lovely Queen Anne Victorian-style home was built in 1905 by E. Veazie Pavy and left to his daughter, Aline. The next owner was Aline's daughter, Coy M. Pavy then Coy's sister, Anne P. Boudreaux who left it to her sons Charles and Paul Boudreaux. Built with cypress, it features a rare hand carved Cypress staircase. In 2005, the building was purchased by local attorney Chuck Granger and his wife, Lynn, and now serves as a law office. 
    Advance tickets for the tour are $15 for adults and $5 for children in advance. They are $20 for adults and $10/Children at the door. Advance tickets are available at Sebastien Dupre Jewelry and Back in Time Restaurant. For more information, contact Robbie Sebastien at (337) 948-4367.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rap, country music stars performing in Plaisance

    Thousands of music fans descend on the community of Plaisance this weekend for two concerts featuring nationally-renowned entertainers. Rap star and Grammy winner Ludacris headlines the Ultimate Jam Saturday and Chris Young leads the KXKC Big Country Bash Sunday at Zydeco Park. 
Ludacris
    Zydeco Park, located on Highway 167 seven miles north of exit 23 (Ville Platte exit) at I-49, has served as the home of the Original Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Music Festival for the past 29 years. 
    Ludacris, a.k.a. Christopher Brian Bridges, is a Grammy-winning rapper and actor with roles in 2 Fast 2 Furious, Fast Five and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and an upcoming romantic comedy, New Year’s Eve. Opening acts at the Ultimate Jam include Lloyd, Bobby V, Trill Fam, J. Paul, Tucka, Mr. Magic, Charlie Boy and Kirko Bangz. 
Chris Young
    At Sunday’s Big Country Bash, Chris Young entertains with his four No. 1 country hits – Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song), The Man I Want to Be, Voices and Tomorrow. He’s joined by Easton Corbin, who hit No. 1 in 2009 with A Little More Country Than That and Roll with It in 2010. Other performers include national hitmakers Chris Cagle and Josh Thompson, along with Kaplan’s Jaryd Lane. 
    Concert tickets are $30, $40 the day of the show. Children 12 and younger are admitted free. More details are available at www.ultimatejamtickets.com and www.kxkc.com
    Other weekend events in St. Landry Parish include:  
  • The Washington Garden Club presents the Fall Harvest Tour of Historic Homes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in Washington. The Nathaniel Offutt Home (circa 1840), Dr. Francis Lyman Brown Home (circa 1840), De la Morandiere (circa 1830) and Magnolia Ridge Plantation (circa 1860) are among the featured homes. (337) 826-7337. 
  • Louisiana Main to Main: A Cultural Roadshow – Main Street Memories continues at various locations in downtown Eunice. Activities include a garage sale, farmers market and more. The Jean Lafitte Prairie Acadian Cultural Center, Cajun French Music Association Museum, Eunice Depot Museum and Nutcracker Museum will all be open. (337) 457-7389, www.eunice-la.com
  • The 1st annual Beef Tongue Cookoff starts at 1 p.m. Saturday at Lakeview Park & Beach, three miles north of Eunice on Highway 31. Songwriter Drew Landry holds a CD release party during the Old Fashioned Barn Dance at 8 p.m. Saturday. (337) 457-2881, www.lvpark.com
  • The 12th annual Tribute to Hank Williams is set for 6 p.m. Saturday at the Liberty Theater in downtown Eunice. Terry Huval, Hugh Harris, DL Menard and others perform songs by the country music legend. Tickets are $14 and all seats are reserved. (337) 457-7389, www.eunice-la.com .
     In other events, Gray R. Steckler’s oil and acrylic art exhibit continues through Dec. 30 at the Opelousas Museum and Interpretive Center, 315 N. Main St. Call (337) 948-2589 for details. For more information on all these events, call the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission at (337) 948-8004 or visit www.cajuntravel.com. Follow us on Facebook at St. Landry Parish – It’s Gumbo for Your Soul and Twitter @StLandryParish.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lighting of the Village set for Dec. 2 in Opelousas

    The City of Opelousas marks a magical start to the holidays with its annual Lighting of the Village on Friday, Dec. 2, from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Le Vieux Village, 828 E. Landry St., in Opelousas. The official lighting of the historical village has been a favorite holiday activity of both children and adults, offering a family friendly environment. 
    The evening begins with traditional Christmas choir music by the Opelousas Community Choir. Then, it is the official pulling of the switch which will light up the village just in time for the arrival of Santa Claus. 
    Offering a variety of activities for the little ones, the annual lighting event will include free pony rides, obstacle course fun jump, face painting, balloon art, guest appearance from Mickey & Minnie, a cup-cake making station as well as an ornament making station. Holiday photos with Santa will also be offered. 
    The event also provides a unique shopping experience where vendors offer a variety of goods including art & crafts, baby items, handmade jewelry, Christmas specialties, home d├ęcor, baked goods and decorative gifts. 
    Attendees can warm up with a free bowl of gumbo provided presented by Opelousas Kiwanis Club and free hot chocolate presented by Wal-Mart DC. A variety of food items will also be available for purchase. Door prizes will be given throughout the evening. 
    The event initiates the 10th celebration of the Lighting of the Village. Sponsors include the City of Opelousas, American Bank & Trust Company, St. Landry Homestead, Opelousas General Health System, St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s office and Wal-Mart Distribution Center #6200.
     For more information about vendor opportunities, contact Opelousas Tourism at (337) 948-5227.