Ebony Escapes! to celebrate the Louisiana bicentennial
LYSA ALLMAN-BALDWIN | 10/19/2012, 4:59 p.m.
Anytime is a great time for a party in Louisiana, but this year, festivities take on even greater significance as the state is celebrating its bicentennial, the 200th anniversary of its admittance as the 18th state in the Union. So everywhere from Grand Isle to Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Lake Providence, Shreveport, Lake Charles, New Orleans, Natchitoches and in between, you're sure to find a celebration to strike your fancy.
New Orleans invites you to kick up your heels in the Faubourg Treme, America's oldest Black neighborhood and the birthplace of jazz. Events here this month include a series of museum and home tours, seminars, lectures, cooking and beading classes and more in addition to the Treme 200 Club Crawl--three nights featuring Treme musicians and artists at several different venues dotted in and around the neighborhood (Oct. 17-19).
On Oct. 20, there's the Treme 200 Festival, a daylong celebration featuring numerous music stages and performance areas, New Orleans cuisine, arts and crafts and other activities. The closing event, which is still to be determined, will be held at St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church, built at the request of free people of color and still standing as the second oldest Catholic church in the country.
- New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, 800-672-6124, www.neworleanscvb.com
- New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, 504-524-4784, www.notmc.com
- Treme 2012, 504-523-5652, www.Treme2012.com
To commemorate the state's bicentennial in the capitol of Baton Rouge, Swine Palace Productions is presenting a variety of enlightening productions throughout the year.
Swine Palace's mission is to provide South Louisiana with high quality, professional productions of classical and contemporary theater, with an emphasis on plays exploring issues of social equity, producing over 68 productions, including many regional and world premieres. Upcoming performances include "Elephant's Graveyard," based on true events; "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie," adapted from the novel by Muriel Speck; and "All the King's Men," based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name and inspired by the life of Louisiana Gov. Huey P. Long.
- Visit Baton Rouge, 800-LA-ROUGE, www.visitbatonrouge.com
- Swine Palace Productions, 225-578-3527, www.swinepalace.org
In Shreveport--the largest city in the state after New Orleans and part of the Ark-La-Tex, the region encompassing parts of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas--the celebration of Louisiana's bicentennial includes the special event "We've Come Full Circle."
To be held Nov. 3, it is a daylong celebration encompassing activities with the Eighth Air Force and at the Shreveport Regional Airport and Barnwell Garden and Art Center--their combined anniversaries totaling 360 years. One-of-a-kind exhibits and displays representing the history of these organizations, performances, children's activities, food vendors and more are all part of the fun.
- Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau, 888-45-VISIT, www.shreveport-bossier.org
- Holiday Trail of Lights, www.holidaytrailoflights.com
On Nov. 17 in Natchitoches, Louisiana's oldest settlement, be sure to check out "Turn on the Holidays: A Salute to Louisiana's Bicentennial." Taking place along the Cane River, which runs through the historic Cane River National Heritage Area, the event will encompass an artist's market, children's activities and live entertainment representing each region along the Holiday Trail of Lights, which is also featured in Shreveport-Bossier. Additionally, there will be a fireworks spectacular and an official turning on of the lights by Louisiana native and Grammy-nominated singer Tab Benoit.