A second line, cochon de lait highlight first day of festival
The Books Along the Teche Literary Festival closed its first day of 2018 with cochon de lait and a second line through Shadows-on-the-Teche Friday night.
The day began with a Tastes Along the Teche Food Demo, followed by Dave’s Haunts and Jaunts Tour. The tour brought event-goers from all over the country to different parts of Iberia Parish that are mentioned in the work of bestselling author James Lee Burke.
Other events included a screening of “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” at the Grand 10, and a Live Oak Walk through downtown New Iberia with arborist Jim Foret.
That was followed by an art show put on by L’Acadian Art Guild and storyteller presentations at the Iberia Parish Main Library.
The Jazz It Up opening reception at Shadows-on-the-Teche treated visitors to pig roast and other Louisiana treats, along with speakers welcoming tourists to the parish.
The reception kicked off with a second line from New Iberia’s own Bunk Johnson Brazz Band, where event-goers danced along the brass band through the Shadows’ gardens.
Special guest Sharon Calcote, who was representing Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, said although Nungesser couldn’t attend the event he was supporting it fully.
“This is a really wonderful turnout,” Calcote said. “New Iberia is such a wonderful asset. You’re celebrating James Lee Burke, but you’re sharing with the world Ernest Gaines and other great southern writers.”
“This is a great event with great southern food,” Iberia Parish President Larry Richard said.
Cathy Indest, one of the event organizers, said the festival has only been growing over the three years that it has been taking place. Not only has the event begun to gain a loyal following of people who have attended for the past three years, but there were several non-Louisiana residents at the Shadows Friday.
That included people who hailed from Mississippi, Georgia, Rhode Island, Iowa, California, Texas and even Canada.
“We’re so happy to have everyone with us,” Indest said. “This couldn’t be possible without them and the many people who help organize this.”
After the second line, participants enjoyed a meal including the pig roast and hors d’oeuvres and adult beverages.