February 22, 2013


Media Release

February 21, 2013
9th Annual Acadian Memorial Heritage Festival and Wooden Boat Congrès

*St. Martinville, La.*—On Saturday, March 16, 2013 the Acadian Memorial
will host its 9th annual heritage festival under the Evangeline Oak and
along the Bayou Teche. The festival is a celebration of Louisiana’s
distinct Cajun culture and heritage. It is free to the public and will
begin at 10am and last until 4pm, followed by a Cajun music jam session at
the Evangeline Oak until dusk. This year, we will honor the *Melancon
*and *Theriot
* <http://www.cafa.org/Theriot&CrochetFamilies.htm>families, and we invite
any and all representatives of those families to attend and participate in
this year’s festival.

Special guests include the International Acadian Festival of Plaquemines,
Louisiana’s Queen Evangeline, Miss Annette Stassi and her Princesses.
Representatives of the Melancon and Theriot families will be in attendance
and participate in the reenactment on the Bayou Teche along with members of
the Atakapa Ishak Nation and La Compagnie Franche de la Marine, who will
hold rifle musket and cannon fire demonstrations throughout the day.

Entertainment includes live Cajun music by La
performances by Renaissance Cadienne
<http://www.renaissancecadienne.org/>and Théâtre Acadien, a wooden
boat Parade on the Bayou Teche, Reenactment
of the Arrival of the Acadians on the Bayou Teche, children’s hands-on
Mardi Gras with Cheri Armentor, Boussilliage Workshop by Lake Fausse
Patricia Hauth. Festival goers will also enjoy boudin and cracklin
cooking demonstrations, Cajun arts & crafts, free boat rides on the bayou,
antique car show, and antique wooden boat displays.

The Acadian Memorial Foundation has for the last eight years recognized the
historical value of the Pirogue by featuring it at its annual Wooden Boat
Congrès and in the Re-Enactment of the Arrival of the Acadians*.* Last
year, the Legislature of the State of Louisiana passed, on May 14, 2012,
House Concurrent Resolution 746 declaring *The Pirogue as The Official Boat
Of Louisiana,* so the Acadian Memorial Foundation has issued a Proclamation
declaring 2013 a*s The Year of the Cajun Wooden Pirogue*.

The Wooden Boat Congrès, brainchild of Director Eddie Bienvenu, began as a
means of honoring and displaying traditional South Louisiana vessels,
especially those indigenous to the Atchafalaya Swamp region like pirogues,
dugout canoes and chalons, known locally as "putt-putt" boats. Each year
boat enthusiasts come from all over Louisiana and even other states to
display their antique boats. A Re-enactment of the Arrival of the Acadians*
*is always a part of this festival, with costumed Acadians paddling

Also each year, the event honors someone who has shown outstanding
achievement in preserving or restoring traditional South Louisiana vessels.
Boaters are asked to vote and the winner is named *Monsieur ou Madame
Bateau de Bois – *Mr. or Ms. Wooden Boat*. *Yes, we do have several women
who bring their boats.

A Christening of The Pirogue will be conducted at the festival and an
authentic handmade Cajun Wooden Pirogue will be raffled. Raffle tickets are
$10 a chance and can be purchased from our board members and at the Acadian
Memorial. You can also purchase a ticket from the Acadian Memorial by phone
or online by using our PayPal donation button and typing “pirogue tickets”
in the notes box. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased right up
until the drawing on March 16th at 4pm.

All proceeds from the pirogue raffle will be used to fund an oral history
project in conjunction with the ULLafayette’s Center for Cultural and
Eco-Tourism <http://ccet.louisiana.edu/>. The project aims to record and
preserve the stories of those men and women who locate, remove, restore,
and rebuild the wooden boats of our ancestors found in the Atchafalaya
Basin area. Our project plans currently include developing educational
programs from the interviews in order to ensure that future generations
have the tools they need to preserve this aspect of our cultural heritage.

Additional details and updates can be found on our website,
www.acadianmemorial.org. Anyone interested in participating in this
cultural event, or for further information, please contact Michelle Johnson
at 337-394-2258 or email info@acadianmemorial.org

*The mission of the Acadian Memorial is to memorialize and document the
nearly 3,000 individuals of the Acadian Exile who came to Louisiana in the
mid-eighteenth century, found refuge and established a new life and a
distinct culture. *
Michelle Verret Johnson
Curator/Director of the Acadian Memorial
121 S. New Market St.
P.O. Box 379
St. Martinville, LA 70582
(337)394-2260 fax

February 13, 2013


Jan. 15, 2012

Chris Smith
Manager, Adult Programming, Jefferson Parish Library
(504) 889-8143



METAIRIE, LA – Sal Serio, curator of the Italian American Research Center at the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie, will lead a series of six genealogical seminars for beginners after Mardi Gras 2013.

The sessions are designed as introductions to basic genealogical research. They are open to the public and are free of charge. All occur at 1 p.m. on Wednesday afternoons at the West Bank Regional Library, 2571 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey.

The courses will focus on the following genealogical issues. Some of the courses will be presented by Serio and some will be presented by guest speakers.

1 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013
“Introduction to Family Research and Forms” and “Vital Records”

1 p.m., Wednesday, March 6, 2013
“Census” and “Cemeteries”

1 p.m., Wednesday, March 13, 2013
“Immigration and Ship Manifests” and “Italian Records”

1 p.m., Wednesday, March 20, 2013
“French Records” and “German Records”

1 p.m., Wednesday, March 27, 2013
“Military Research – Revolutionary to World War II” and “Military Research – World War II Individuals”

1 p.m., Wednesday, April 3, 2013
“Photographs – What They Tell Us” and “Libraries and Genealogy Societies”

For more information regarding this presentation, contact Chris Smith, Manager of Adult Programming for the library, at 504-889-8143 or wcsmith@jefferson.lib.la.us.

In accordance with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Jefferson Parish shall not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its services, programs or activities. Library patrons that require auxiliary aids or devices or other reasonable accommodation under the ADA should submit requests to the ADA Coordinator at least 48 hours in advance or as soon as possible. A 72-hour notice is needed to request Certified ASL interpreters. ADA Coordinator / Office of Citizens with Disabilities, 1221 Elmwood Park Blvd., Suite 210 Jefferson, LA 70123; (504) 736-6086; ADA@jeffparish.net

The Jefferson Parish Library system consists of 16 locations that stretch from the Lakeshore Branch on the edge of Lake Pontchartrain to the Grand Isle Branch just steps away from the Gulf of Mexico. The library system consists of two large regional libraries and seven branches on each side of the Mississippi River. The East Bank Regional Library (4747 W. Napoleon Avenue, Metairie) serves as library headquarters. The Jefferson Parish Library is the second largest system in the state of Louisiana. More than 200 employees work for the Jefferson Parish Library including librarians, administration and support staff. JPL is supported by a vibrant volunteer organization, the Friends of the Public Library. For more information, contact the library at (504) 838-1100 orwww.jefferson.lib.la.us.

February 12, 2013


Acadian Memorial Festival

Saturday, March 16, 2013 – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Evangeline Oak Park – FREE

121 S. New Market Street, St. Martinville, LA

(337) 394-2258

Theriot and Melancon families will be honored this year. Additional information can be found at the Acadia Memorial website noted above.

Also being celebrated is the mural's 20th anniversary of its twinning with the mural in Nantes.

Breaux family presentation

Footsteps in Time”

by Gayle Breaux Smith

Gayle’s power point presentation will include trips to France and Nova Scotia as she traced her ancestors’ “footsteps.”

Thursday, March 21, 2013 – 6 p.m.

Lafayette Genealogical Society

South Regional Library, 6101 Johnston St., Lafayette, LA 70503 – 337-981-1028

Planning Ahead:

Congres Mondial Acadien 2014

August 8-24, 2014

Madawaska, New Brunswick & Maine


CMA2014 has officially approved a Breau/Breaux/Brault/Breault reunion. We will be joining with our Canadian cousins in planning a one-day event. Date and place to be announced.

Link to the 108 families planning reunions:


LOUISIANA DAY: Date to be announced.

Now is the time to plan your trip.

PASSPORT: You will need a passport to enter Canada. Renewal or application should be made now. The U.S. Post Office has information or go to http://uspassportonline.com/forms for forms and information.


  • History of the "King Cake"

    The story of the King Cake began in 12th century France where the cake would be baked on the eve of January 6 to celebrate the visit to the Christ Child by the three
    Kings. A small token was hidden in the cake as a surprise for the finder.

    But the origins go back a little further than that and as you would guess, it has something to do with the catholic church.... The King's Cake has its roots in
    pre-Christian religions of Western Europe. It was customary to choose a man to be
    the "sacred king" of the tribe for a year. That man would be treated like a king for the year, then he would be sacrificed, and his blood returned to the soil to ensure that the harvest would be successful. The method of choosing who would have the honor of being the sacred king was the King's Cake. A coin or bean would be placed in the cake before baking, and whoever got the slice that had the coin was the chosen one.

    When Christianity extended its influence and began overshadowing the religions that
    came before it, many of the local customs were not outright abolished, but instead
    were incorporated into Christian tradition and given a new spin. This even happened
    to the tradition of Mardi Gras, and from what we have researched so far seems to be
    the case, but that's another story. Catholic priests were not predisposed to human sacrifice, so the King's Cake was converted into a celebration of the Magi, the three
    Kings who came to visit the Christ Child.

    French settlers brought the custom to Louisiana in the 18th century where it remained
    associated with the Epiphany until the 19th century when it became a more elaborate
    Mardi Gras custom. In New Orleans, the first cake of the season was served on January 6. A small ceramic figurine of a baby was hidden in the cake. Whoever found the baby was allowed to choose a mock court and host the next King Cake party the following week (weekly cake parties were held until Mardi Gras ).

    In 1870, the Twelfth Night Revelers held their ball, with a large king cake as the main attraction. Instead of choosing a sacred king to be sacrificed, the Twelfth Night Revelers used the bean in the cake to choose the queen of the ball. This tradition has carried on to this day, although the Twelfth Night Revelers now use a wooden replica of a large king cake. The ladies of the court pull open little drawers in the cake's lower layer which contain the silver and gold beans. Silver means you're on the court; gold is for the queen.

    The classic king cake is oval-shaped, like the pattern of a racetrack. The dough is
    basic coffee-cake dough, sometimes laced with cinnamon, sometimes just plain. The
    dough is rolled out into a long tubular shape (not unlike a thin po-boy), then shaped
    into an oval. The ends are twisted together to complete the shape (HINT: if you want to find the piece with the baby, look for the twist in the oval where the two ends of the dough meet. That's where the baby is usually inserted.) The baby hidden in the cake speaks to the fact that the three Kings had a difficult time finding the Christ Child and of the fine gifts they brought. The cake is then baked, and decorated when it comes out. The classic decoration is simple granulated sugar, colored purple, green, and gold (the colors of Carnival). King cakes have gotten more and more fancy over the years, so now bakeries offer iced versions (where there's classic white coffee cake glaze on the cake), and even king cakes filled with apple, bavarian cream, cherry, cream cheese, or other kinds of coffee-cake fillings. A more-or-less standard slice of king cake is about three inches wide. The ceramic babies have been replaced with plastic ones, but many places now sell both pink and brown babies.