Hosted by Louisianians, the entire region of South Louisiana is opening their doors to welcome family and friends who want to celebrate and help maintain the culture, customs, traditions and history of the Acadians. This celebration will be held October 7th through 16th, 2011 in four Acadian regions. New Orleans, Houma, Lake Charles, and Lafayette will host events and celebrations closing with a huge renewal of pride on the last day at Festivals Acadiens et Créoles at Girard Park in Lafayette.
GRA : New Orleans - October 7th & 8 th
Friday, October 7 th 4:30 – 7:00 p.m. Opening Ceremony with Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and Special Guests Reception, Gallier Hall, 545 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA
Saturday, October 8th - Discover and Visit the New Orleans Areawww.neworleanscvb.com
- Louisiana Swamp Tour – airboat tour of swamplands
- New Orleans City Tour – French Quarter, St. Charles Avenue
- Plantations along the Mississippi River
- Self-guided walking tour of the French Quarter
- Historical Cemetery Tour
- Voodoo Spiritual Tour
- New Orleans Cocktail Tour
- Horse and Buggy Tour of the French Quarter
- New Orleans Museum of Art and Sculpture Garden
- Self-guided New Orleans Trolley tour on the oldest operating trolley cars in the United States
- Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World – see how Mardi Gras floats are created
Special group rates are being arranged by Grayline tours and independent tour operators. Optional tours may be arranged.
11:00 a.m. Unveiling and Blessing of the Acadian Deportation Cross Monument in downtown Houma near the Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum, 7910 Park Avenue, Houma, LA (985) 580-7200 (heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served)
1:00 p.m. Gathering of Acadians Presentation. Keynote presentation by Stephen White, Genealogist, Moncton University, New Brunswick, Canada and Tim Hebert, author and chairman of the Louisiana Commission of Archives and History, on Terrebonne Parish's Acadian Cultural Contributions. Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center, 346 Civic Center Boulevard, Houma, LA (985) 850-4657
ALL DAY “Voice of the Wetlands Festival” at Southdown Plantation, 1209 Museum Drive, Houma, LA (Infophone 800.688.2732 or www.voiceofthewetlands.com)
Monday, October 10th – Discover Houma region / Tours www.houmatravel.com
- Coastal Restoration Project: Grass Planting - Click for more information (Limited registration) Note: Bus departs at 7 a.m. from the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center.
- Special tours are being developed by the Convention and Visitors Bureau with various attractions and restaurants.
Tuesday, October 11th - All events take place at the Lake Charles Civic Center, 900 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, LA (337) 491-1256
10:00 a.m. Genealogy Library display opens, Buccaneer Room.
11a -12:15p.m. Welcome by Dignitaries, Exhibition Hall / Light Lunch
12:15-2:00 p.m. Papillion & Creole for Kids on stage, Exhibition Hall
2:15-4:00 p.m. Genealogy Seminar/workshop in Buccaneer South Room. Keynote Speaker –Stephen White, Genealogist, Moncton University, New Brunswick, Canada
- Learn to Speak French, Buccaneer Middle Room
- Additional programming, Buccaneer North Room
- Tourism, Louisiana Market, Candice, Alexander’s Fleur de Lis
collection, Cajun families, Cajun artists and vendors, Exhibition Hall
- “Taste of Southwest Louisiana” – festivals and restaurant vendors serve food
4pm-5:30pm Lesa Cormier / Cajun French Music Association, dancing demonstration
5-6 p.m. Wine Tasting (Ticketed event – limited registration), Contraband Room
5-7 p.m. Boudin Trail Battle - taste and cast ballots for your favorite
5:30 p.m. Tourism Representative provides “Battle of the Boudin” details
5:30 p.m. French Immersion Children Performance
6:00-7:30pm Live music and dancing with Chris Miller & Bayou Roots
7:30 p.m. Announcement of the Battle of the Boudin Awards
8-10 p.m. Live music and dancing with Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience
(Off site) The Southwest Louisiana Genealogical & Historical Library, 411 Pujo Street, Lakes Charles, LA (337) 721-7116, will remain open after hours from 5-8 p.m.
for those interested in researching their family histories. www.calcasieu.lib.la.us/genealogyinformation.html
Wednesday, October 12th – Discover Lake Charles region / Tours www.visitlakecharles.org
- Hit the Boudin Trail-The Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail winds throughout Calcasieu Parish and parts of Cameron Parish. The trail has a brochure that plots out places to try boudin as well as attractions along the way. Visitors might want to drive part of the trail or stop in and pick up Southwest Louisiana’s favorite finger food – BOUDIN!
- Visit area parks- Sam Houston Jones State Park is a gorgeous place to explore nature, with hiking trails, picnic areas and majestic scenery
- GPS activated handheld video tour of the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road-The CPS handheld video tour device is available for check-out free of charge at the Lake Charles / Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau, 1205 North Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, LA (337) 436-9863. The knowledgeable staff at the bureau can provide visitors with French and English versions of the tour to take with them as they explore Louisiana’s Outback.
- Visit the Mardi Gras Museum-The Mardi Gras Museum in Lake Charles houses the largest display of Mardi Gras costumes anywhere in the world. There are themes dedicated to various aspects of Mardi Gras from king cake to costume making to chicken runs and Mardi Gras royalty.
- Visit Local Art Galleries-The Imperial Calcasieu Museum is the treasure trove of history in Lake Charles / Southwest Louisiana. Furniture, jewelry fashion and documents, it is a peek into the lives of the founders of Lake Charles and the heyday of the lumber barons.
- Carriage rides through downtown Lake Charles (private bookings)-Local carriage companies will offer visitors a ride through downtown Lake Charles, along the lakefront and through the Charpentier Historic District to see the Victorian Mansions. There is also a detailed brochure on the historic district that guides visitors through the area, telling stories along the way.
Thursday, October 13th – Fête de Famille [Free Admission but ticketed luncheon, $20 in advance - $25 at the door - Chef Gilbert and Nova Scotian Guest Chef serve a tantalizing Cajun buffet], Ballrooms A & B, Cajundome Convention Center, 444 Cajundome Boulevard, Lafayette, LA 337.265.2320
Ballrooms A & B:
8:30 am Registration [Free Admission but ticketed luncheon] / Meet & Greet / Coffee and Pastry in Café Bienvenue (foyer area).
9:30 am Opening ceremony: Welcome, Special Guest, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, Announcements, Introductions, SNA Young Acadian Award
Causeries: Acadians converse about similar topics of interest to each area (scholars to facilitate)
10:00 am Acadian Heritage & Culture - Our Future? Keynote Speaker TBA.
11:30 pm Genealogy and The Acadian Identity: Finding our Ancestors. Keynote Speaker: Stephen White, Genealogist, Moncton University, New Brunswick, Canada. Buffet Luncheon (Ticketed Event, $20 in advance, Register on line www.gra2011.org) -
1:00 pm Environmental Issues - Seafood Industy and Oil Spill / Coastal Erosion and Restoration, Thomas Michot, Ph.D., Institute for Coastal Ecology & Engineering, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
2:00 pm French Language – The Louisiana French Language: The Battle Continues. Keynote Speaker: Amanda Lafleur and Eileen M. Angelini, Ph.D, Department of Modern Languages, Canisius College (NY).
4:00 pm Musique des deux Acadies avec les Frères Michot: lyrics, old ballads with musicians / Music conversations: Similarities and differences with special blend of Acadian and Cajun Music.
Foyer Area: Lucius A. Fontenot Photography Exhibit [Note: In conjunction with the Lucius A. Fontenot Photography Exhibit, additional Acadian art exhibits will be held off site - Georgette Bourgeois, Artist in Residence at Grand-Pré National Historic Site in Nova Scotia showing at the ULL A. Hays Town Building and Elemore Morgan and Students Exhibit at the ULL Art Museum]
Foyer Area: Table top displays will be available for information on Genealogy, Acadian family name products, artists: music, crafts, Cajun & Acadian products, books, family photos, family groups, etc. Skirted tables (4’ x 6’) with 2 chairs will be provided at a cost of $200. To request a table top, contact Kim Broussard at CRbrouss@bellsouth.net or call (337) 298-3711.
2nd Floor: Cajun Film Festival
2nd Floor: Children's Storytelling by New Brunswick author, Diane Leger and Sheila Hébert-Collins
7:00 pm: L'Ordre du Bon Temps Banquet - Re-enactment of the first social eating club in North America. (Limited Seating/Ticketed Event) Contact Acadian Memorial (337) 394-2258 for details.
Friday, October 14th / Discover Lafayette and Acadiana vicinity www.lafayettetravel.com
8:00 am: “Beignets and Coffee” gathering at the Musee de Maurice, Chief H. Fred Street, Maurice, Louisiana. The art of making beignets demonstrated to visitors. Coffee and beignets offered with live Cajun music and conversation for all. (Complimentary)
[Note: Vermilion Parish has arranged a host of activities during Grand Réveil Acadien. Start off your morning in Maurice with “Bienvenue avec Beignets” – libre! From a photograph exhibit, “Unique Beauty” in Gueydan to exhibits in Abbeville on “Coastal Cowboys” and “At the Movies”, Vermilion Parish is sure to please. Not a fan of exhibits? Then come on down to the square and enjoy music in downtown Abbeville, part of their free live concert series. Jam sessions, farmers’ market, cattle festival, Vermilion Parish offers all that is Cajun! Check out our website at www.gra2011.org to see the full schedule under the “Stay Awhile” tab. Discover Acadiana and discover what’s Cajun!
5:00 pm: Opening of Festivals Acadiens et Créoles concert at Girard Park
Saturday, October 15th - Festivals Acadiens et Créoles, Girard Park, Lafayette, LAwww.festivalsacadiens.com
10:30 am until Music, Dancing, Cajun Cuisine, Arts & Crafts, Acadian History, Culture, Traditions
- GRA Hospitality
- Dancing Tent : Where Acadians and Cajuns come together to dance
- Reception and exhibition of Grand Pré artists, including Georgette Bourgeois originals
- St. Martinville Re-enactment of the Arrival of the Acadians on the Bayou Teche, renewal and reconnection with St. Martinville’s sister cities, and attractions. (Nova Scotia, New
Brunswick, Nantes, France)
- Blessing Ceremony at St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church, Church of the Acadians, in historic downtown, St. Martinville
GRA Closing Ceremony and Mass at Festivals Acadiens et Creoles
9:30 am Outdoor French Catholic Mass, Salle de Danse Stage
Abbeville Omelette, featuring Louisiana Crawfish will be prepared at the Culture Sur la Table tent during Festivals Acadians et Créoles. The Confrerie d’Abbeville is delighted to offer a preview of their unique Omelette celebration for GRA. The members will prepare a petite omelette in their four foot skillet. Although only 1/9th the size of its main skillet used in the annual celebration, it is still quite impressive and tasty!
11:00 am Grand Parade Procession – parade around the park, including youth program participants: A demonstration of cultural traditions and community affirmation, encouraging all ages to participate in Le Courir du Mardi Gras, Le Tintamarre (Scott Jumelage Committee), La Mi-Carême, La Guiannée and La Chandeleur.