Fall is here. That can only mean three things: an end to the crushing brutality of summer, dreamy autumnal thoughts, and Festivals Acadiens et Créoles. Dig it. No longer just Festivals Acadiens. They changed the name last year. Now it’s got the “et Créoles” in there, too. Because we’re all in this together, fighting it out in the Sturm und Drang that is the modern world — with all its backbiting sleazers and shystery weasels.
For the past 32 years, the festival has provided a culturally relevant platform for Acadiana music, food, and crafts. Like past years, the music serves to both entertain and educate people about the deep cultural history of the Cajuns and Creoles — from the collective struggle of the Grand Dérangement to our unconquerable joy of life to the eventual possibility of Cajun astronauts one day throwing a boucherie on the moon. It is all there.
The festival returns with another astonishing line-up that shimmers and sparkles like jewels on a throaty lady friend. Bands on the agenda include BonSoir Catin, Geno Delafose, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Cedric Watson, Pine Leaf Boys, D.L. Menard, Feufollet, The Savoy Family Band, and many others. This year’s Festivals Acadiens et Créoles is dedicated to Doug Kershaw, Joel Sonnier and Jimmy C. Newman, who in their day took Cajun music to national audiences way before chicken scratch was cool or lucrative — and light years before out-of-state audience members began ill-advisably yelling the completely unsanctioned “Ai-Yee!” Cajun call between songs. All three grew up playing music in their hometowns and were signed to major labels, but each kept true to the spirit of the creative flame by continuously including French songs in their repertoires, thereby spreading the cultural goodness that is the Cajun legacy. There was no shame in their game, then. Nor is there any now. And neither is there in this highly respected, much-touted festival.
Festivals Acadiens et Créoles runs from Oct. 9 – 11, kicking off on Friday at Parc Sans Souci with Corey Ledet & His Zydeco Band during Bach Lunch and later with Downtown Alive in Parc International with Feufollet, Doug Kershaw, Jo-El Sonnier, and Jimmy C. Newman, performing live. However, the rest of the festival will take place among the shade trees and nut-munching squirrels of Girard Park on Oct. 10 and 11, on two separate stages, starting at 10 a.m. each day and running approximately till nightfall for maximum enjoyment and leisure overdrive.
Parc San Souci & Parc International
5:30 Feufollet & Special Guest
7:00 Doug Kershaw, Jo-el Sonnier, Jimmy C. Newman & Special Guest
10:30 - 11:30 Hubert Maitre & the Triangle Playboys
11:30 - 1:30 Berard-Huval Family Affair
1:30 - 2:30 Ed Poullard & Les Amis Creoles
2:30 - 3:30 Jimmy Breaux et Amis
3:30 - 4:30 Nathan Williams and the Zydeco Cha-Cha’s
4:30 - 6:00 Balfa Toujours
6:00 - 7:30 Feufollet
10:45 - 11:45 Robert Jardel & Pure Cajun
12:00 - 12:45 T-Salé
1:00 - 2:00 Lafayette Rhythm Devils
2:15 - 3:15 Joe Hall & the Louisiana Cane Cutters
3:30 - 5:00 Doug Kershaw, Jimmy C. Newman & Jo-El Sonnier
5:15 - 6:15 Jambalaya + D.L. Menard
6:30 - 7:30 Pine Leaf Boys
Salle de danse
11:30-1:00 Howard Noel Jr. & Cajun Boogie
1:30-3:00 Lil’ Nathan and The Zydeco Big Timers
3:30-5:00 Jesse Lége and The Southern Ramblers
10:30 - 11:30 Fricassée Cajun Band
11:30 - 1:30 Frey-Daigle Family Affair
1:30 - 2:30 BonSoir, Catin
2:30 - 3:30 Cedric Watson & Bijou Créole
3:30 - 5:00 Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys
5:00 - 6:30 Wayne Toups & ZydeCajun
10:30 - 11:15 Briggs Brown and the Bayou Cajuns
11:30 - 12:30 Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie
12:45 - 1:45 Savoy Family Band
2:00 - 3:00 High Performance
3:15 - 4:15 Dexter Ardoin and the Creole Ramblers
4:30 - 5:30 Roddie Romero and the Hub City All-Stars
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.