March 21, 2009

14th Annual Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival

The Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival will be held on Natchitoches’ downtown riverbank on April 3-4, 2009.

The Festival schedule includes a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the legendary James Burton; Grammy award winner Anders Osborne; New Orleans favorite Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and his band Orleans Avenue; and “the ultimate Eagles experience,” Seven Bridges Road. Local favorites Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs will also be performing at the Festival.

Food vendors will be available throughout the weekend offering festival food faire.

The 2009 Jazz/R&B Festival will be a two-day long event beginning Friday evening with NSU College Night beginning at 6:00 p.m. Saturday will kick off at 11:45 p.m. with entertainment on two stages.

The Natchitoches Star competition winner will be announced during the Festival and the three finalists will perform throughout the day Saturday. A rock-climbing wall will be the highlight of the numerous children’s activities that will be available throughout the festival day.

There will be VIP parking available for motorcycles, and festival attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

Admission to the festival will be $8 per adult, $4 per student/military personnel with I.D., and children 12 and under free if purchased in advance. The tickets prices the day of the festival will be $10 per adult, $5 per student/military personnel with I.D. and children age 12 and under free. Tickets will be good for both days.

For more information, call the Natchitoches Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-259-1714 or visit
Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival 2009 lineup

With a hitmaking country/R&B artist with a dozen top ten hits to his name; a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and one of the top guitarists in the world; a Grammy award winning Rock, R&B, and Blues singer/songwriter; the hottest Jazz, Rock and Funk performer out of New Orleans; and a tribute to perhaps the greatest American rock band of all time, the 2009 Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival truly promises "something for everyone." The Festival which will be held April 3rd and 4th on the historic and picturesque downtown riverbank in Natchitoches, will begin with NSU College Night on Friday, and continue with music on three stages all day Saturday beginning at noon.

Featured performers at this year's Festival include country star T. GRAHAM BROWN. Brown has been writing and recording hit records for over twenty years and has charted more than twenty singles on the Billboard Hot Country songs chart. Three of these singles -- "Hell and High Water", "Don't Go To Strangers", and "Darlene" reached number one and eight more reached the top ten. T. Graham Brown has received a CMA award for his efforts.

While Brown's hits have been on the country charts, his influences are grounded in rhythm and blues and is well known as a crossover artist.

JAMES BURTON is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was named by Rolling Stone magazine as "one of the top guitarists of all time." Having played on countless records as a session musician, Burton found his greatest fame first as Ricky Nelson's guitarist making regular appearances on The Ozzie and Harriet Show, and then Elvis Presley's lead guitarist and band leader from 1969 until Elvis' death in 1977. Burton was also John Denver's lead guitarist for several years and has played with many major artists including Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lee Lewis and George Harrison. Pete Townsend of the Who once called Burton: "The most important guitarist in American music history." Burton was also a guest performer on Brad Paisley's most recent album.

Burton holds the "James Burton International Guitar Festival" every year which raises money to purchase guitars for children in schools and children's hospitals. Burton will be performing with Natchitoches group Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs.

Singer/songwriter ANDERS OSBORNE has made the Festival a part of his "Southern Troubadour Tour 2009." Osborne was born in Sweden. As soon as he was old enough, he moved to New Orleans where he has become a widely respected and Grammy winning Rock, R&B, and Blues guitarist and vocalist. Osborne has recorded nine albums and since 1994 has been working as a professional songwriter and producer in Nashville. His song "Watch The Wind Blow By" was recorded by country music star Tim McGraw and Hit No. 1 on the country charts.

TROY "TROMBONE SHORTY" ANDREWS and his band, ORLEANS AVENUE are easily the hottest and more eclectic musical act in New Orleans. Trombone Shorty's versatility is illustrated by the fact that he is up for "Artist of the Year" and "Best Trumpet Player," and he and his band are up for "Best R&B Funk Artist" in the annual Best of the Beat Music Awards in New Orleans, while he previously won the award as "Performer of the Year" and "Best Contemporary Jazz Performer," Trombone Shorty and his high energy band receive rave reviews wherever they play and he has toured with Lenny Kravitz and performed with U2, Green Day, Dr. John, and many others. The Edge, U2's guitarist, described Trombone Shorty's unique blend of Rock, Funk, R&B, Jazz and Soul as "Unbelievable! It is just not anything you are going to hear anywhere else."

SEVEN BRIDGES ROAD -- "THE ULTIMATE EAGLES EXPERIENCE" has been described as "the closest you will come to seeing a live Eagles concert without paying $200 for a ticket." Seven Bridges Road is made up of musicians from Nashville and the Dallas area who have played many types of music with many bands over the years, but who have all shared one passion: the music of the Eagles, perhaps America's greatest rock and roll band. Seven Bridges Road has faithfully and lovingly recreated many of the Eagles' greatest hits from "Hotel California" to "Take It To The Limit" and performed them with a sound and style that is eerily similar to the Eagles themselves and Eagles fans who have seen Seven Bridges Road show gushed: "If you close your eyes, you might just think you are at an Eagles concert."

The Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival will have continuous music on three stages on Saturday, April 4th and there will be plenty of food and activities for the children. For more information, go to

By Latisha McDaniels, Natchitoches Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

March 18, 2009

Fourth Annual Yellow Pine Inn Spring Fling

The Yellow Pine Inn Bed and Breakfast will host its Fourth Annual Spring Fling Celebration on March 28, 2009 from 9 a.m. – until…rain or shine. Admission is free, parking is $1.00.

There will be arts and crafts, birdhouses, vintage collectibles, hand-tied fishing flies, local honey, iron works, concrete products, paintings, needlepoint, flint knapping and blacksmithing demonstrations, and much more.

Vendors will also have plants and flowers for sale including our own heirloom tomatoes and herbs. Food vendors will offer funnel cakes, turkey legs, chicken fingers, bratwurst, bar-b-que, and much more.

Storytellers, balloon-shapers, face-painters, clowns, and music groups will also be on site to add to the fun. Come celebrate Spring in Yellow Pine.

For more information call 318-377-3600 or visit

By: Lynn Dorsey, Executive Director, Webster Parish Convention & Visitors Commission
888-972-7474 or go to

March 16, 2009

Chimpanzee Discovery Days at Chimp Haven

Chimp Haven hosts "Chimpanzee Discovery Days" on March 21st from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Eddie D. Jones Nature Park in Keithville, Louisiana. The event is free and open to the public.

Observe the chimpanzees in their natural habitats. Tour the sanctuary, participate in various educational seminars, and enjoy a day outside in nature.

The event is free and open to everyone; however donations are welcome and gratefully accepted. This month guests are asked to bring donations of trail mix, unsalted crackers, and sugar free treats, juice, and cereal.

This is a great opportunity to spend the day with your family and friends while learning and watching the chimpanzees.

2009 Discovery Days
March 21
April 18
May 16
June 20
July & August Closed
Sept 19
Oct 17
Nov 21

Visit the Chimp Haven website for more information, how to get there and for some educational information.


Easter on the farm

Celebrate Easter at PaPa Simpson's Farm in Arcadia, Louisiana on Saturday, April 4, beginning at 10:00 a.m. at MiMi's Country Cupboard. Bring out the youn'uns for spring activities down on the farm.

Enjoy an Easter Egg Hunt with prize eggs at 10:30 a.m.; a hayride at 11 a.m.; and pig races at 11:30 a.m. There will be new spring baby animals available for petting and pictures.

PaPa Simpson's Farm is a working dairy farm. Six generations have called the farm home. Agriculture is their way of life and they want to share it with everyone. The tour allows visitors to experience daily life on a farm. Visitors are educated on the animals, crops, vegetable garden, fruit trees and berries. There is also a lesson in history and geography. The most important that the family wants to share with others is the beauty of the rolling hills, trees, pastures and their way of life.

MiMi's Country Cupboard offers several items for sale. Purchase your very own PaPa Simpson's Farm t-shirt, or one of these farm fresh foods: cheddar cheese, jelly, sweet pickles, dill pickles, cinnamon pickles, pickled okra, salsa, candied jalapenos, pepper sauce, seasonal flowers, sugarcane stalks, herbs and fresh eggs.

PaPa Simpson's Farm is available for birthday parties, company picnics, fishing at the catfish pond, educational tours and family tours. The farm is also open for day care centers, nursing homes, church groups, clubs, companies, reunions, individuals, or families.

The cost of the family tour is $8.00 per person; children one and under are free. Reservations may be made by calling 318-263-2383 or 318-278-0883. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy some fishing in the catfish pond after the tour.

Directions to PaPa Simpson’s Farm: Take Interstate 20 Exit 69 in Arcadia, travel Highway 151 North for 2 ½ miles; Turn left at Alabama Baptist Church onto Rich Road and follow the signs to MiMi’s Country Cottage. Please do not turn in at the gate that says “PaPa Simpson’s Farm.” Drive to the top of the hill and you will see MiMi’s Country Cottage. This is where the tour will start. The farm is located approximately 4 ½ miles from exit 69.

Future family tour dates are April 18, 2009 May 16, 2009, June 13, 2009, and July 18, 2009. In the fall the farm hosts a family fun day in October and there are special events at Christmas and Easter.

Source: PaPa Simpson's website

Cerebral Palsy of Louisiana Telethon

2009 Northeast Louisiana Telethon
March 28 & 29 at the Monroe Civic Center
Saturday, March 28, 2009, Noon-10:00pm

Sunday, March 29, 2009, Noon-6:00pm
Broadcasting on KTVE NBC 10

We are always looking for new volunteers. Give us a call anytime 318-387-4560 for details.

Cerebral Palsy of Louisiana, 5200 Northeast Road, Monroe, Louisiana 71203

March 12, 2009

Gardens of the American Rose Center hosts Annual Easter Egg Hunt

The Annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held Saturday, April 4, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Children should bring Easter baskets for the prize-filled egg hunt which is divided by age groups. Guests may also take part in Easter-themed games and photos with Peter Cottontail before and after the egg hunt. Parents must accompany children to the event, and an adult must remain with each child under age 5 throughout the activities. Admission is $10 per car load. For more information, please contact Maria Scott at 318-938-5402 ext 101. Rain date is scheduled for Sunday, April 5.



The Gardens of the American Rose Center is hosting an EarthKind™ Rose Symposium and Rose Sale on Saturday, April 11, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EarthKind™ roses produce spectacular blooms without the use chemicals and with very little water and pruning.

Speakers include: Dr. Steve George, Associate Professor & Horticulture Extension Specialist, Texas A&M Research and Extension Center, Dallas; Claude Graves, member of the Dallas Rose Society and Heritage Rose Foundation; Mark Chamblee, owner Chamblee Rose Nursery in Tyler; Gaye Hammond, nationally recognized rosarian of the Houston Rose Society; Dr. Dan Gill, LSU AgCenter, Consumer Horticulturist and Dr. Allen Owings, Professor of Horticulture - Nursery Crops and Commercial Landscaping, LSU AgCenter, Hammond Research Station.

Seating is limited and registration is required. Early registration is $75 has been extended to March 28, and then registration is $85. Registration includes garden admission, program materials, access to EarthKind™ specialists, lunch, snacks and an EarthKind™ trial rose. For more information, please contact call Ellen Trice at 318-938-5402.

Gardens of the American Rose Center is the home of the American Rose Society, created in 1974 through the contributions of rose lovers around the world. The 118-acre park contains more than 65 individual gardens with each bed and planting specially designed to demonstrate ways roses can be grown in the average home garden. It is conveniently located just off of I-20, Exit 5, in Shreveport, LA.

By: Maria Scott, Advertising/Marketing Manager, 318-938-5402 ext 101
Photo Credit: ARS website

March 06, 2009

Jonquil Jubilee

The Daffodil Capital of Louisiana, Gibsland, Louisiana

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Enjoy a spring day visiting the Daffodil Capitol of Louisiana, Gibsland, Louisiana. Tour historic homes, shop for handcrafted items, visit a museum, take in a flower show, walk through a garden, and drive through the beautiful North Louisiana countryside enjoying nature's own art show.

  • Tour sites open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Purchase a ticket at the Jubilee Booth for $10.00 a ticket. The price includes admission to historic homes and gardens in town, and a map of various plantings in the area.
  • Tour two homes on the National Register of Historic Places: The 1848 Green Revivial Sylvan Retreat and the Colbert Place which is built in the 1860's.
  • Tour sites include Sally's Field which features over 6,000 daffodils; Oak Grove Farm; enjoy local crafts at the United Methodist Church; visit the oldest continuously operated Baptist church in Louisiana, Mt. Lebanon, established in 1837; visit the Mt. Lebanon Stagecoach Trail Museum; Willow Oaks Farm and a newly constructed Blacksmith Shop
  • Shop downtown at E.W. Merrit Pavilion for handcrafted items: iron works, original art, assorted native plants and garden accessories.
  • Sample food from Gibsland Grill or Key Rail Barbeque
  • Visit the Authentic Bonnie & Clyde Museum
  • Walk through the Barbara Van Cleave Joiner Memorial Garden
  • Stop by the second Jonquil Jubilee Flower Show
  • Get there early for the Jonquil Jubilee Pancake Breakfast sponsored by the Gibsland Lions Club
  • Take a historical tour of the Gibsland and Mt. Lebanon cemeteries and learn of those who settled the area
  • Stop and smell the flowers at the home of Lorris Carter and walk through a field of daffodils.
For more information, visit

Source: Jonquil Jubilee Website

March 04, 2009

Spring in Natchitoches

Enjoy a parade and live entertainment in downtown Natchitoches. The parade begins at 11 a.m. Everyone is invited to join in the parade beginning at 1st Baptist Church on Second Street. All events are free. For more information about the parade call 318-352-5304.

Saturday, March 14th: St. Patrick's Day Celebration & Pub Crawl
The Pub Crawl begins at 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Visit Antoon's Restaurant, Pioneer Pub, Mama's Oyster Bar & Cane River Bar & Grill for your chance to win $100's of prizes in the Pot O' Gold. All events are free, except for your drinks. Drawing is scheduled at 10:15 p.m. at Cane River Bar & Grill. Musical entertainment provided by 7 Hours To Southland, 9 p.m. - Midnight. For more information about the pub crawl call 318-581-2008.

Saturday, March 28th
Bloomin' on the Bricks
The 9th Annual Bloomin' on the Bricks, sponsored by the Natchitoches Main Street Program, will display the beauty of springtime on Saturday, March 28. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. the riverbank in Natchitoches' downtown district will be alive with merchants selling and displaying items related to garden and lawn care, a demonstration area, live entertainment and food booths. A children's tent will have springtime activities for kids to enjoy. Admission for the festival will be $3 for adults and free for children 12 and under. For more information call 318-352-2746 or 866-941-6246.

Art Along the Bricks
The Natchitoches Art Guild & Gallery celebrates artistic creativity each year with the Art Along the Bricks event. Visitors and art lovers can walk along Front Street to see the fine art and craft exhibition and sale the 8th Annual Art Along the Bricks offers. The event will last from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information call 318-352-1626 or visit

On The Bricks & 50s & 60s concert!!!
Enjoy great bargains up and down Front Street and the side streets as the shops put their best buys on the sidewalk for this great springtime event.

The day continues into the evening as "Shake, Rattle & Roll" hits Front Street; north end in front of Antoon's. Four members of the oldies group will take audiences back to the '50s and '60s with their spirited rock-n-roll and doo-wop melodies from 6 - 9:00 p.m. on the downtown riverbank. This event is free and open to the public, reserved seating will be sold. Call 318-352-1993 for reservations. Hosted by the Natchitoches Historic District Business Association.


Cane River Green Market to open April 25
Ribbon cutting will kick off the 2009 season

Cane River Green Market, Natchitoches’ local farmer’s market, will open its 2009 season on Saturday, April 25 on the downtown riverbank.

Local dignitaries, Green Market vendors and patrons will be on site at 10 a.m. to cut the green ribbon to kick off the 2009 season. The public is invited to take part in the ribbon cutting ceremony.

In celebration of Earth Day, free mulch and bags will be provided while supplies last. Market goers will also have the opportunity to bring their recyclables to the market for collection.

Live musical entertainment will be provided by The Back Porch Band from 10 a.m. to noon. Children will also be able to participate in Earth Day and spring craft activities.

“Reading on the River”, a fun day of book-related activities for parents and children, will also take place in conjunction with the Green Market. Educational booths will provide crafts, games and reading activities for children. Upon completion of activities, participants will be able to choose a book to take home from the book zone. The Natchitoches Parish Library Bookmobile will also be present.

Besides fresh fruits, vegetables and plants, customers can choose from a selection of “value-added products” including farm fresh eggs, baked goods, jams, jellies, pickles, honey, fresh flowers, herbs, organic produce and much more.

Crafters will sell their hand-made items during the market’s opening day and every Saturday during the season. The market will feature such hand-made crafts as woodwork, artwork, jewelry, stained glass, soaps, pottery and more.

The Green Market will be open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from April 25 through July 25. There will also be special harvest markets in the fall.

In conjunction with the market’s opening, Keep Natchitoches Beautiful will sponsor a citywide cleanup from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 25 as part of Keep Natchitoches Beautiful Month.

Those groups or individuals who participate in the citywide cleanup will be treated to beverages at the Green Market. For more information about the cleanup or to participate, please call Keep Natchitoches Beautiful at 318-357-3822.

All activities of the Cane River Green Market are free to the public. For more information about any of these activities, please call 866-941-MAIN or 318-352-CRGM or visit

By: Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce
Photo Credit: Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce

March 03, 2009

Rapides Parish: QUE’IN ON THE RED, MARCH 20 - 21, 2009

“Everything’s goin’ up in Smoke” as the city of Alexandria hosts its 4th annual barbecue festival, Que’in on the Red, March 20 – 21, 2009.

This Memphis Barbecue Network sanctioned festival will offer friendly competition in six categories including pork, beef, poultry and sauce. Teams from across the United States, including Central Louisiana will gather to prove their secret sauces, rubs and grilling techniques have what it takes to be the Grand Champion of the “Red.”

To insure a fair and just competition, MBN will provide Que’in on the Red with knowledgeable and experienced judges who will judge teams on taste, tenderness and presentation. All teams are required to cook in at least one (1) MBN category; those being pork shoulder, pork ribs and whole hog.

Youth ages 8 – 17 will also have the opportunity to compete through the Que’in Kid’s Cook Off. Categories in this competition are “Chop Soooy” (pork chops) and “Chicken Little” (chicken). Each team may consist of four (4) members with one member being an adult. Trophies will be awarded to the winners.

The adult competition will offer $10,000 in cash and trophies to winning teams. A special designed art piece featuring the festival’s character and theme will be offered to the competition’s grand champion. Local artist Preston Gilchrist of River Oaks Arts Center will design the art piece to be awarded.

Festival gates will open at 4 pm Friday, March 20th to an impressive musical line-up. Beginning at 6:30 pm, The Tim Turner Band will take the stage. This blues/rock base band was formed in 2003 with original members, Tim Turner, Jed Smith and Dale LeBoeuf. This early line-up played around Louisiana and Texas for a couple of years until Tim and Jed moved to Nashville, TN to pursue their music careers. Reformed in Nashville with new bassist Rob Bratcher, The Tim Turner Band has recorded an all original album due spring 2009.

Headlining Friday’s musical line-up at 8:30 pm is jam band, Blues Traveler. For their new release (and Verve Forecast debut) North Hollywood Shootout, the quintet ventured out of their creative comfort zone to explore some adventurous new horizons. The resulting album is a landmark in Blues Traveler’s large and widely loved body of work, demonstrating the enduring strengths of the band’s songwriting while capturing the spontaneous spirit of their legendary live shows. The band’s best-known single, “Run-Around,” was the longest-charting radio single in Billboard history. Along the way, the band has played more than 2000 live shows in front of more than three million people

Saturday’s activities will begin at 10 a.m. with the opening of the festival gates. The musical line-up will begin at 2 pm with local country/rock band, Avery Michaels & Exit 209. Avery and Exit 209 add a bold visual excitement with their show and then toss in the occasional rock and party song just to make sure everyone is up! Contemporary, talented, polite, enthusiastic… these are all terms one might use to describe Avery and his crew, but shy definitely is not!

Vanguard/Sugar Hill Records duo Joey+Rory, the husband and wife team of Joey Martin and Rory Feed will take the stage at 4 p.m. The duo is among the rare breed of talent that lives and breathes what they write and sing. This duo, deeply rooted in a classic country sound, draws listeners into an intimate, close-knit community with their debut release The Life of a Song.

Making this Louisiana festival complete, Lake Charles zydeco favorite, Chris Ardoin and NuStep will perform at 6:30 pm. Chris blends traditional Creole music with R&B, rock, jazz, blues, country and gospel.

Headlining the evening’s entertainment is Frankie Beverly and Maze. Beginning at 8:30 p.m., this influential group in the world of contemporary music, will perform hits from their groundbreaking albums such as Golden Time of Day (1978), Inspiration (1979), Joy and Pain (1980), Live in New Orleans (1981), We are One (1983), Can’t Stop the Love (1985) and Live in Los Angeles (1986), all recorded for Capitol Records.

Carnival rides, games and a Coca-Cola monster truck display are also included in the festival’s entertainment.

An opportunity to taste competition meat will be given to festivalgoers through the Capital One People’s Choice Tent. Additionally, food and merchandise vendors will be on hand to sell barbecue and traditional festival food.

This year’s festival truly promises to be full of entertainment and excitement. General gate admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.

By: Lisa Harris, City of Alexandria, Louisiana

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: If you would like a team application, email and I'll send you a copy.