Beauregard Parish to mark 100 years - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Beauregard Parish to mark 100 years

A tank makes its way through DeRidder during the Louisiana Maneuvers in September 1941. (Source: Velmer Smith) A tank makes its way through DeRidder during the Louisiana Maneuvers in September 1941. (Source: Velmer Smith)
A parish scene by the late Beauregard Parish folk artist Gussie Townsley (Source: Velmer Smith) A parish scene by the late Beauregard Parish folk artist Gussie Townsley (Source: Velmer Smith)
Horse soldiers (Cavalry) making their way through Merryville during the Louisiana Maneuvers in 1941. (Source: Velmer Smith) Horse soldiers (Cavalry) making their way through Merryville during the Louisiana Maneuvers in 1941. (Source: Velmer Smith)

You can soak up the past at Beauregard Parish's 100th year celebration on Saturday.

The free event will be held from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Beauregard Parish Fairgrounds Exhibition Hall on U.S. 171 North in DeRidder.

There will be presentations on Beauregard Parish's history, including one by local historian Velmer Smith.

Beauregard Parish fiddlers Ron Yule and Emily Young Doucet, past state fiddling champions, will perform.

There will also be appearances by musicians Clifford and Sue Blackmon and Thomas Townsley, a young mandolin player and the grandson of the late Beauregard folk artist Gussie Townsley. Country and Gospel groups will also perform.

Guest Speaker will be Army Col. Bret Van Camp, commander of the 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade at Fort Polk.

Representatives from parish offices will have booths to provide information to the public. 

Gussie Townsley's art will also be displayed, including such works as the "DeRidder Cotton Gin" and the "Sabine River Neches Belle Steamboat."

Children will enjoy water slides, jumps and inflatable bounce/slides along with face painting and balloons.

There will also be a scavenger hunt and sack races.

A motorcycle show and a barbecue cook-off are planned. For more information on the cook-off, call Kelly Bailey at 337-842-0918.

The celebration will also include a fireworks display at 9 p.m. at the Beauregard Parish Fairgrounds.

Parish history books will be sold, along with commemorative T-shirts and caps.

Beauregard Parish was named in honor of General Pierre G. T. Beauregard.

In 1912, it was created from a portion of Calcasieu Parish. 

According to Velmer Smith, local historian, notable in the parish's history is that women were given the right to vote in 1915 and subsequently, the rest of the women in the country got their voting rights in 1920.

For more information on the event, contact Pauline Marshall at the Beauregard Parish Police Jury Office at 337-463-7019.

You can view a slideshow of Beauregard Parish's past and present HERE.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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