It’s Festival Time! Tenth Bayou Teche Black Bear Festival kicks off this evening
This year’s Bayou Teche Black Bear Festival kicks off this evening along Parc sur la Teche in downtown Franklin.
Along with it, the Bayou Teche Wooden Boat Show also enters its fourth year.
The ninth bear festival is the culmination of months of works by organizers.
“I’m excited to be involved in the tenth bear festival,” organizer Edgar Dugas said. “The continued support and involvement by the community grows each year and is a sign of the positives Franklin and the area have to offer.”
The festival will feature arts and crafts vendors, food booths, live music and much more for all ages. U.S. Fish and Wildlife will be giving tours of the Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge and there will be guided tours of public and private lands in the vicinity of Franklin including Bayou Sale Ridge on La. 317 and the Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge. These will be guided by the LSU Chapter of the Wildlife Society.
“As usual I am hearing of folks coming from around the state and the country to participate in our little festival,” Dugas said. “We even have Louisiana Public Broadcasting coming to do a segment, this is very exciting and I think the city and the bayou side is ready to show what we have to offer. I want to thank our sponsors, volunteers, local government agencies, without them it wouldn’t be possible.”
The ham radio operators group the BEARs will be set up with a special events station and displays under the pavilion on Parc sur la Teche. Also, the Beay-Y-Patch will again return to the Blevins Building at the corner of Willow Street and Main Street, in the parking garage.
“I think the thing about the BEARS is that this group comes to us and volunteers for Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. sharing with our community a lost art,” organizer Judith Allain said. “And yet I’ve often talked to them and it may be the only form of communication we have in a catastrophe. Cell and house phones could be down.”
Cajun Horseshoes, a unique form of the game using toilet seats, will be held at 1 p.m. at the St. Mary Peace Memorial across the bayou on Willow Street. Participants include Franklin fire and police personnel, city council and parish council members.
The Cleco Cub Club Arena will feature storytelling, puppet and magic shows, music, games and more. It’s located behind the Blevins Building.
Organizer Delores Stewart said she is “praying for good weather, and thanking our sponsors and the community for supporting us.”
Stewarts’s prayers have likely been answered: Forecasts are for temperatures in the low to mid 70s Saturday and Sunday.
“This is our tenth year, so everybody come out and help us make it a blast,” Stewart said. “The fireworks will be better than last year, they’re wonderful. And don’t forget the boat tour and the 5K Run, we’re trying hit 100 runners.”
A fireworks display will begin at 8 p.m.
There’ll also be a motorcycle show along Main Street, Teddy Bear Repair Clinic in the Blevins Building and the crowning of the queen.
Musical entertainment includes Flashback, the Five O’Clock Shadeaux Band, Cypress, gospel singers and the Kickin’ Cajuns.