There's a lot going on in and around Southwest Louisiana this weekend. Here's a look at what to expect:
Lafayette will get fired up for the upcoming football season with Ragin' Cajuns Fan Day. Also in Lafayette, the 24th Annual Reggae & Cultural Festival will be taking place, and Vermilionville's Les Vues film series continues. Elsewhere in Southwest Louisiana, Iowa will be setting up for the 5th Annual Arts and Crafts Festival, Lake Charles will host the 2013 Family & Youth Festival and the 8th Annual Imagination Celebration, and Jennings will prepare for two town halls with visits from Louisiana politicians.
8th Annual Scholarship Seminar: August 24 at 9 a.m. in the Contraband Room at the Lake Charles Civic Center. The Phillips 66 Black Employee Network and the Black Heritage Festival of Louisiana are hosting the event. Students and parents will learn about graduation requirements and when and how to apply for scholarships and visit with colleges and vocational-technical schools. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Claudia Williams at 337-491-4935 or Judith Washington at 337-304-0620.
Family & Youth Festival 2013: August 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lake Charles Civic Center. The event is free and open to the public and will feature live music, a petting zoo, games, clowns, children's activities and a small career fair for teenagers. Alcohol will not be allowed on the premises. For more information, contact Family & Youth Counseling Agency at 337-436-9533 or visit www.fyca.org.
8th Annual Imagination Celebration: August 25 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the Exhibition Hall at the Lake Charles Civic Center. The event is a fundraiser for The Children's Museum and will feature food from more than 20 local restaurants, live and silent auctions and a cash bar. Tickets are $50, and are on sale now at the Children's Museum. Sponsorships are also available. For more information, call the Children's Museum at 337-433-9420.
Voter Registration/Education Week: August 26-30 in Calcasieu Parish. Activities will include voting machine demonstrations and voter education presentations. A schedule of registration drives is available HERE. The Calcasieu Parish Registrar of Voters is sponsoring the initiative. For more information, contact the Registrar of Voters Office at 721-4000. Registration forms may also be picked up at Calcasieu Parish Library Branch Offices.
Family to Family course on mental health: Course sessions are free and will be offered by NAMI SWLA, beginning August 27 at the NAMI SWLA Office, located at 715 Ryan St., Ste. 203, in Lake Charles. The course will consist of 12 weekly sessions from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The course will cover information about schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, major depression disorder, panic disorder and OCD, coping skills such as handling crisis and relapse; basic information about medications; listening and communication techniques; problem-solving skills; recovery and rehabilitation; and self-care around worry and stress. For more information or to register, call NAMI SWLA at 337-433-0219, or visit their new website at www.namiswla.com.
Howard Noel Jr. & the Cajun Boogie: August 24 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Liberty Theatre at 200 West Park Ave. in Eunice. Emcee will be Ray Landry. Tickets go on sale at 4 p.m. on Saturday at the ticket window of the Liberty Theater. Tickets are $5 and are general admission seating. This event is being held as part of the "Rendez-vous des Cajuns" Cajun Music Radio & TV Show.
Joe Simon & Cajun Hearts: August 31 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Liberty Theatre at 200 West Park Ave. in Eunice. Emcee will be Pope Huval. Tickets go on sale at 4 p.m. on Saturday at the ticket window of the Liberty Theater. Tickets are $5 and are general admission seating. This event is being held as part of the "Rendez-vous des Cajuns" Cajun Music Radio & TV Show.
5th Annual Iowa Arts and Crafts Festival: August 24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Iowa Community Center, located at 209 U.S. 90 W. The event is free and open to the public. Live entertainment, refreshments, arts and crafts demonstrations, storytelling, and displays are scheduled. Free refreshments provided by Coca-Cola and Capital One Bank will be available. For information, contact the Iowa Public Library at 337-721-7101, or 337-582-3597 if calling from within Iowa.
6th Annual J-Town Showdown gold tournament: August 24-25 at the Jennings Golf and Country Club with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Free food and drinks on the course will be provided during the tournament. A practice round will be held August 23 at 1 p.m. and a social on August 24 at 7 p.m. For more information, click HERE.
Town Hall Meeting with Congressman Charles Boustany: August 27 at 10 a.m. at the Jeff Davis Council on Aging on 210 State Street in Jennings.
Town Hall Meeting with U.S. Sen. David Vitter: August 28 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the Jennings Conference Center, located at 210 S. State St.
"The Buccaneer Artists have Landed": This art exhibit will be on display through August 31 at the Zigler Museum of Art, located at 411 Clara St. in Jennings. The exhibit features several Calcasieu Parish artists, including Janet Badger, Ned Cappel, Sally Cappel, Marilyn Cox, Marcia Dutton, Pat Gallaugher, Bill Iles, Charlene Kaough, Heather Ryan Kelley, Kevin Leveque, Pat Love, Nancy Melton, John Metoyer, Della Pigott, Anne Shirley, Marilyn Vincent, Gerry Wubben and Sue Zimmermann. For more information, contact the museum at 337-824-0114.
24th Annual Lafayette Reggae & Cultural Festival: August 24-25 at Pelican Park in Carencro, La. Gates open at noon, with concerts beginning at 4 p.m. and lasting until midnight. Performers will include the following: The Meditations, The Itals, Inner Visions, Reggae Infinity, Likkle Shank, D.R.U.M, Irie Channel and Homegrown Reggae from Russell Cormier. Admission is $20 per day for adults, $10 for students with a valid ID and free for children 10 and under. Attendees are invited to bring blankets and lawn chairs for the concerts. For more information, call 337-886-0572, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.lafayettereggaefest.com/.
Ragin' Cajuns Fan Day: August 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Cajundome. The event is free and open to the public. Players, Coaches, cheerleaders and the Ragin' Jazz will be available for autographs. T-shirts and pennants while supplies last.
Les Vues film series: "Trashed": August 26 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Vermilionville Performance Center in Lafayette. Admission is free, although a $5 donation is suggested to help cover screening and curating costs. Refreshments will be available. For more information, call 337-233-4077.
Environmental seminar: August 29 from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA) Conference Room at 211 E. Devalcourt Street. LIDEA is hosting the session, entitled "Wetlands and Other Environmental Considerations When Considering a Site for Industrial Development." The seminar will provide a basic introduction to environmental concerns and wetland issues and how each of these impact the development of a proposed site location. Topics include wetlands and the permitting process, cultural resources, air quality and water issues and more. Registration is $25 for LIDEA members and $50 for non-members. For more information, visit http://www.lidea.org/regionalseminars.cfm.
Cochon de lait and traditional boucherie: September 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Vermilionville Living History Museum & Folklife Park. The event is free and open to the public and will feature boudin, cracklin and soap making demonstrations. Jambalaya, boudin, cracklins and pork stew will be available for purchase along with soft drinks, water, beer and mixed drinks. Live music will be provided from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Performance Center by Horace Trahan and Ossun Express. For more information, call 337-233-4077 or visit http://www.vermilionville.org/vermilionville/.
Walking tours of the Natchitoches Historic District: The tours will take place August 25 and 29-31 at 9 a.m. and will begin at the Cunningham Law Office, located at 550 Second Street. Tours are free and will be guided by Park Rangers from the Cane River Creole National Historical Park. Each tour lasts about 90 minutes and covers roughly 0.5 miles and 300 years of Natchitoches history. Visitors are advised to be prepared to climb stairs and ramps and should bring bottled water with them. For more information, call Nathan Hatfield at 318-356-8441.
Cane River Zydeco Festival and Poker Run: August 30-31 near the downtown stage on the banks of Cane River Lake in the Historic District of Natchitoches. Friday events are free and open to the public. Admission on Saturday is $7 for people ages 12 and up. A schedule of events is available HERE. The public is invited to bring lawn chairs to the event, but no ice chests will be allowed. Food vendors will be present. Free parking will be available in the downtown area, and Front Street will remain open. Parking will not be allowed on the riverbank. Gates to the festival area will be located at staircases leading down to the riverbank area. All proceeds will benefit the Cane River Chapter of the Magnolia State Peace Officers Association. For information, call the Natchitoches Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-259-1714.
3rd Annual MDA Rice & Gravy Cook-off: August 24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cajun Harley-Davidson, located at 724 S Frontage Road in Scott. The entrance fee for the cook-off is $40, which does not include food or supplies. The public will be able to sample bowls of rice and gravy by purchasing tickets for $5. The event will benefit the Lafayette chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Anyone interested in participating in the cook-off can register online at cajunhd.com, mail their registration form to 724 I-10 South Frontage Road, Scott, LA 70583 or fax it to 337-235-4858. Tickets can also be purchased at cajunhd.com.
Setting up an Email Account: August 28 at 10 a.m. at Fontenot Memorial Library, located at 1402 Center St. in Vinton. Adults will have a demonstration on the basics of setting up an email account. For more information, call 721-7095 or http://calcasieulibrary.org.
Back to School Bash: August 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sugar Mill Pond Town Center, located at 101 Waterview Road in Youngsville. Activities will include waterslides, a dunking booth, live music, arts and crafts. Must bring one school supply per child to enter. All school supplies will be distributed to local schools in need. For more information, call 337-865-2323.