Eunice, LA, October 9, 2014 -- The festival planning
committee met on the LSUE campus in the Community
Education Building, the heart of next year's Experience
Louisiana Festival. It was an honor to welcome aboard
Maida Owens, Louisiana Folklife Director, and Angela
Rathle, Supervisory Park Ranger (Eunice, Lafayette,
Thibodaux) with the National Park Service.
In addition to logistical discussions regarding preparation
of the festival grounds and power issues, the planning team was updated on developments since the prior meeting, including: Eunice Chamber of Commerce endorsement, progress developing a food truck component, car show, LSUE Bengal Baseball scheduling an exhibition game during the festival, LSUE student athletes as volunteers, progress continuing toward a Film Village, possible Agriculture Village, possibility of Eunice Recreation Department tournament during festival weekend, and more.
Maida Owens offered invaluable insight regarding the framework for the Folklife and Craft Villages. Since the folklife component is a core component of the event, planners are taking great care to ensure that the presentation meets a high bar with regard to displaying, exhibiting and demonstrating crafts, trades, and traditions that are authentically "folklife," uniquely cultural and passed down through generations. The goal is to enable festival guests to experience the folk history of Louisiana through such things as accordion making, authentic Mardi Gras costume making, and other ethnic or cultural traditions. Look for updates as planning continues and announcements are made and folk exhibitors are scheduled.
Angela Rathle delivered especially good news, perhaps leading to a significant source of funding. With her guidance, the planning committee will pursue the option in hopes of securing much-needed resources for the project. Organizers are excited and honored to have the partnership with National Park Service.
Dr. Althea Jackson, representing LSUE Student Affairs and the annual LSUE Community Day, was present to join in planning and to confirm that LSUE will incorporate their annual community day activities into the festival program. Activities are designed for children. Dr. Jackson and her team of students will begin developing this component. More to come.