Boudin Wars, Bayou Roots, Terrance Simien-Great Acadian Awakening!

Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011

Get your taste buds ready to savor boudin and your dancing shoes ready for headliner, Grammy winner Terrance Simien because it’s time to celebrate! Cajun food, Boudin Wars, Terrance Simien, Bayou Roots and all things Cajun and Zydeco will be at your fingertips at the Lake Charles Civic Center as part of the Great Acadian Awakening on Tuesday, Oct. 11, a free public event.

The Great Acadian Awakening is the perfect opportunity to invigorate the spirit of our heritage and connection with French speaking countries, specifically the Acadian people in Canada. The celebration starts in New Orleans, Oct. 7-8; moves to Houma, Oct. 9-10; then Lake Charles, Oct. 11-12, ending in Lafayette, Oct. 13-17.Tuesday, Oct. 11, is the day with the most activities in Lake Charles, and the public is invited to come to the Lake Charles Civic Center.

The festivities start Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 10 a.m. with genealogy workshops and resources available by the Southwest Louisiana Genealogical & Historical Library. Stephen White, a genealogist and speaker from Moncton University in New Brunswick, will be the guest speaker at 2:15 p.m. on the historical perspective of the Acadians.

The opening ceremonies kick off at 11 a.m. with dignitaries, a singing group from Barbe High School and the Acadiana Cowboys Band. Following the opening ceremonies, there will be a French language Cultural Coffee Corner where local French speakers can have conversations with tour groups from Canada and other French speakers from around the state, starting at 1:15 p.m. Free French lessons will also be given at that time for those who are beginners.

There will be free performances by Terrance Simien with his Creole for Kidz Program as well as a musical storyteller from New Orleans on Cajun traditions, Papillion, during the day at the Rosa Hart Theatre from noon-1:30 p.m.

From 4-10 p.m., art vendors and local restaurants such as 121 Artisan Bistro, Pujo St. Café, Southern Spice and Aucoin’s will have booth space in the Exhibition Hall, and there will be the famed Boudin Wars! Over the past two years, the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail has grown in popularity, and now is the chance for the stops along the trail to compete with event-goers casting their votes – to name the “Boudin Master of the Universe!”

Battling it out at the Boudin Wars from 5-7 p.m. will be Famous Foods, Hollier’s, Sausage Link, Comeaux’s, Market Basket, Gillis Grocery & Café, Billedeaux’s, Sonnier’s Sausage & Boudin and Kat’s Kracklins/Cruz Café.

Other bands to perform through the day and into the evening include Lesa Cormier & the Sundown Playboys at 4 p.m., Chris Miller & Bayou Roots at 6 p.m. and Grammy Winner Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience from 8-10 p.m.

A special addition to the event will be the Thomas Jefferson French Wine Tasting, with a presentation in French by Dr. Phillipe Girard with a translation performed by Adley Cormier, dressed as none other than Thomas Jefferson.

One event that carries over into the next day is the 25 year anniversary premier of Belizaire the Cajun. The film will be shown on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at the Imperial Calcasieu Museum. Filmmaker Glen Pitre will introduce the film, and Michelle Benoit will be on hand to answer questions afterward. Seating is limited, and you must reserve your seat by calling the museum at 337-439-3797.

For more information or a full schedule, log onto To explore the French Wine Experience, visit To participate or volunteer, contact Angie Manning-Istre,