"We feel that what we put out, nobody can duplicate," says Charles, the festival director and president of the Southern Development Foundation. "Nobody can duplicate the experience of hearing their favorite band on the main stage of the original Zydeco Festival. You have to be in that bean field."
The event celebrates its 25th birthday this year, still content in the fields of rural Plaisance. A committee from the Holy Ghost Catholic Church ' headed by the Rev. Albert J. McKnight ' started the event as a way to galvanize the Creole community. At the time, many feared for the future of the Creole identity and wondered if the zydeco genre would escape its local roots. The committee decided its community would reconnect through music and increase its solidarity for future generations. The snap bean field was fitting ' as the term zydeco comes from its French expression "les haricots," meaning "beans." Later, the Southern Development Foundation began organizing the event, the festival serving as the nonprofit community group's largest fund-raiser. "If we can revitalize the music, we can revitalize the culture," says Charles.
This year continues the tradition of honoring the legends of zydeco and building the music up for the next generation. The lineup is an unbeatable list of the best in zydeco, including new-generation bandleaders Curley Taylor and Geno Delafose (pictured). Each year the festival also gives an up-and-coming band a slot. "Once you have played at the main stage, you have arrived," says Charles.
Though this year's emerging artist is LA 31, the true twist at the festival is the booking of Jamie Bergeron & The Kickin' Cajuns. The band is well established among local crowds and a huge draw, but the presence of a Cajun band performing a hybrid of Cajun, zydeco and mainstream music (covers of classic rock) is a first for the festival. Laughs Charles, "He [Bergeron] knows he is going to have to come up to the plate with zydeco."
As Charles sees it, the timing is right for Bergeron, and the mix of styles is perfect. Plus, she sees zydeco as colorblind, pointing out the many white fans who frequent the event and local dances. "It has been 25 years of bringing cultures together."
The main-stage lineup for the 2007 Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Festival in Plaisance on Saturday, Sept. 1: LA 31, 10:30 a.m.; Jamie Bergeron & The Kickin' Cajuns, 1 p.m.; Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie, 3 p.m.; Step Rideau & The Zydeco Outlaws, 5 p.m.; Keith Frank & The Soileau Zydeco Band, 7 p.m.; JJ Callier & The Zydeco Knockouts, 9 p.m.; Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble 10:30 p.m.; Chris Ardoin & NuStep, midnight. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the gate. For more info, visit zydeco.org or call (337) 942-2392.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
A crew began erecting the 25-foot mini-wheel late morning Friday in anticipation of the evening’s Hottest Night of the Year party at the park.
Frances Boothe of Nunez, who also happens to be filmmaker Stephen Meaux’s grandmother, prepares a cool-weather fave.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
New Iberia colonial or Broussard traditional home
The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
Fiery style for game day
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Google vs. Amazon in drone race; more deaths in Syria; Russia escalates Ukraine conflict and more national and international news for Friday, August 29, 2014.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
Three bedroom Port Barre cottage or three bedroom historic district Opelousas home
No laboring for shoppers this holiday
It will be next month before Gov. Bobby Jindal will likely get a chance to change the membership of a South Louisiana flood board that is suing dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
The Acadiana Center for the Arts and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority have announced a new artist stipend program, ArtSpark, designed to offer financial aid to local artists.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Three bedroom traditional or two bedroom Victorian cottage