Growing up in south Louisiana I have been exposed to some amazing culture. Traditions. Cuisine. Heritage. This weekend we get to celebrate a little bit of that Heritage.
With the International Acadian Festival. Every year since as long as I can remember I have gone to this fair. I was in the pageant as a baby. By daddy entered the cooking contests. I got to pet the animals at the 4-H exhibits. We rode rides till we were sick. Walked hand in hand with childhood crushes. Threw darts at balloons to win glass plaques with cheesy 80's bands on them. Bought sunglasses with our names engraved on them and air brushed shirts professing our BFF statuses. Covertly walked around with Sonic cups filled with Hurricanes. I even walked in the parade a number of times as a child. Such memories. But what was it all about really? Well it was about the culture and heritage that our area was based on.
In 1969 the Knights of Columbus began the Acadian Festival as a way to bring some publicity to our city, instill pride in our citizens and preserve and enhance our rich heritage.Legend has it that Emmeline LaBiche (Evangeline) traveled through Plaquemine on the waters of Bayou Plaquemine on her journey to the Teche Country in search of her lover Louis Arceneaux (Gabriel). As the story goes, she and her Indian guide spent the night on the banks of the bayou in what is now the City of Plaquemine.
Thus, the basis of the festival was formed.The first festival was held during the Thanksgiving holidays of 1969 and was named the "Cajun Festival." In keeping with the reason and basis of the festival, the queen was named "Evangeline" and arrived by canoe on the waters of Bayou Plaquemine.
And this year we will bring Zane to it as well. We went last year but he was still too little to get into it. I hope this year he will enjoy it and we can relive some of the magic I felt at the fair when I was a kid.