LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - 50 years ago the French language in Louisiana was in decline, even in danger of fading away.
That was when a unique state agency was formed, with its task to preserve and increase the use of French in Louisiana.
Friday night that group celebrated 50 years.
The French culture could be felt in the heart of downtown Lake Charles Friday night.
As the Council for Development of French in Louisiana celebrates it's 50th year they partnered up with the city and other local organizations to bring something unique.
With a five dollar donation, the community could sign a blue and gold hand painted fleur-de-lis with the money going to CODOFIL's scholarship fund.
With so many Cajuns around we had to find out who could speak French, and while most aren't fluent, some are worried about the future of their culture.
"I feel like parts of the culture are dying, and we need the young people to kind of pick that up and start getting involved and start carrying that flag again," said Charmaine Anderson with the Cajun French Music Association.
"I don't necessarily think it's dying, but I do think it's evolving, but that's a pretty natural thing for languages to do so we're actually on a good wave," said French Immersion student Rachel Judson. "It's going to be good."
"It's a blessing," said resident Michael Savoie. "It just gets more kids involved, more people involved just to learn the culture and just the language and all."
"It's very heartwarming because this is how I was raised and moving out here to Lake Charles has really opened up doors.... learning more about French and it's really great celebrating my own heritage," said resident Rheagan Ortego.
"When we were exiled out of Nova Scotia, three things that we promised each other was that we are not going to forget our religion, we're not going to forget our family, and we're certainly not going to forget our culture ever," said Anderson.
CODOFIL plans to present the signed painting to Governor Edwards and Lieutenant Governor Nungesser in honor of the city's participation in celebrating the organization's 50th year.