November 10, 2010

Visit a Louisiana Tree Farm this year

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: My apologies to anyone who is listed incorrectly. The original post was written in November 2008. If the information is incorrect, please email me an I will update it.

Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree!
Time to think about Christmas trees. Start a new family tradition by going to one of these LOUISIANA Christmas Tree Farms and picking out a tree. Make some memories, enjoy a day of fresh farm air.



Bossier Parish
Cool Breeze Farm
 15860 Hwy. 157, Benton, Louisiana 71006, 318-326-4980

Peterson Drive Christmas Tree Farm
 318-355-7937, 126 Peterson Drive, Benton. Open Friday afternoons; all day Saturdays; Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sell Virginia Pine and Leyland Cypress trees.


Caddo Parish

Adams Tree Farm
318-686-4770, 6391 Buncombe Road, .7 miles off Pines Road. Open 9 a.m. to dark, Monday through Saturday; 1 p.m. to dark Sunday. Virginia pine and Leland cypress trees which are grown on the farm; Noble fir and Grand fir shipped to the farm.

Christmas Wood Tree Farm
318-683-0592, 3223 Bert Kouns Industrial Loop, Shreveport, 1/5 miles west of Mansfield Road between Walker and Dean Roads. Hours 10 a.m. until dark Saturdays; and weekdays by appointment. Leyland cypress trees.


Shaw Christmas Tree Farm
318-284-3584, Hwy. 71, 1 mile north of Ida.

Weaver's Christmas Tree Farm
2995 Jolly Napier Rd, Shreveport, LA 71119, 318-636-6101. Choose from Leyland cypress, Carolina sapphire, Blue Ice, Cut Fraser fir. Also have a gift shop and sell tree stands.

Concordia Parish
Marie's Trees
1010 Doty Road, Ferriday, LA 71334, 318-757-4911, 318-715-4910 Choose from leyland & ovensii, virginia pine, blue ice, blue nalor,frasier fir (sizes 5-6 ft up to 8-9 ft )from north carolina to arrive 2 days before Thanksgiving. Items available to purchase tree stands, trees netted, wreaths, ornaments, decorated cypress knees, pecans shelled. And enjoy a kiddie train ride for children cost: $3.00. North on LA 15, turn west on Kentucky Ave. (Hwy 903). Go 2 miles to farm on left.


Fletcher Christmas Tree Farm, 3725 Highway 921, Clayton, LA 71326, 318-389-5894. Directions: FM 921, 3 miles south on Hwy. 15, between Clayton & Sicily Island.

DeSoto Parish
Santa's Woods, 732 Stonewall Frierson Road, Frierson, Louisiana 71027, 318-797-4749. Open day after Thanksgiving and every Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until sold out. www.santaswoods.net

Lincoln Parish
Beavers Christmas Tree Farm
2237 Hwy. 563, Simsboro, LA 71275, 318-247-8238
Choose from Leyland cypress, Virginia pine, Carolina Sapphire, Red Cedar. Also sell tree stands. Farm located at 2237 LA Hwy. 563, get off of I-20 at the Industry Exit #78, this exit is between the Grambling and Simsboro exits, go north on Hwy. 563 approximately 5 miles and the farm will be located on the right.

Ouachita Parish
Pepper Christmas Tree Farm
2181 Hwy 557, West Monroe, LA 71292, 318-387-5172
Choose from Leyland cypress, Carolina Sapphire, Blue Ice. Also sell tree stands, snow flocking. From West Monroe; go S on Hwy 34, 7 mi.; past paper mill take left on Hwy 557, go 2.5 miles to farm on left

Precious Memories Christmas Tree Farm, LLC
455 Glen Acres Road, Calhoun, LA 71225, 318-396-5113
"Full Service Christmas Tree Farm" Opening the Saturday before Thanksgiving November 22, 2008 thru Sunday before Christmas. Daily Monday thru Friday 10:00 until dark, Saturday and Sunday 8:00 until dark. Trees available are Virginia Pine, Leyland Cypress, Notabilis, Blue Ice, Carolina Sapphire, Red Cedar and North Carolina Fraser Fir (fresh pre-cut Fraser Firs from North Carolina available Thanksgiving weekend.)
Other fun on the farm: sleigh rides for the kids and kid at heart, Candy Christmas mints, Christmas tree pin stands for sale (takes the hassle out of straightening your tree) and fresh wreaths made daily. From I-20 Exit 108 (Cheniere Drew), go north on LA 546/LA15 for 2 miles to the intersection at Drew School. Take a left onto LA15 and continue for 2 miles (Look for our big sign on the right). Turn right onto Glen Acres Road and stay straight for .5 mile. Tree farm is on the left (Look for our sign). http://www.preciousmemorieschristmastreefarm.com

Rapides Parish
A & N Christmas Forest, 318-563-4011 or 318-563-4785, Directions: from Alexandria, Hwy. 1 south 18 miles to Echo, turn right at Cheneyville Echo Road or Sandy Lane Road, ½ mile to stop sign, turn left, 2nd house on right

Miltons' Christmas Tree Farm
1605 Hwy. 457, Lecompte, LA 71346, 318-442-0565. Choose from Leyland cypress, Virginia pine, Red Cedar.

Peachy Pines, 100 Locker Road, Deville, Louisiana 71328, 318-449-1142

Richland Parish
Curry's Christmas Tree Farm
548 Robinson Drive, Rayville, LA 71269, 318-728-6203. Choose from Leyland cypress, Virginia pine, Carolina Sapphire, Red Cedar, Blue Ice. Also, sell tree stands, offer hay rides, snow flocking, maze, field tours. I-20 east from Monroe to exit 132 then follow signs.

Sabine Parish
L & L Christmas Trees
 318-645-6988, 157 S. Main Street.

Tensas Parish
Barfield Tree Farm
318-467-5532, Hwy. 4, 3.5 miles west of Hwy. 65.

Vernon Parish
Sanders Christmas Tree Farm 
294 Westbrooks Rd., Hornbeck, Louisiana 71439, 318-565-3152

Webster Parish
Hollis Tree Farm
318-371-0530, Directions: from Minden, 2 miles on U.S. Hwy. 79, left Miller Road, go 3 miles. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturdays; 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Virginia Pine and Leyland Cypress.

Old Beck House Christmas Tree Farm & Gift Shop,
318-377-0310, 112 Beck Curve Road, U.S. Highway 80, Minden. Open 1 p.m. until dark each day. Douglas fir, Leyland cypress and Virginia pine; other items include: wreaths, gift baskets and stockings.

Allen Parish
Grant Christmas Tree Farm & Syrup Mill
318-634-3408, Farm Address: 716 Whitaker Rd., Grant, LA 70644. Leyland Cypress, Virginia Pine, Fraser Fir trees, fresh wreaths and garland.
Fall festival the three Saturdays following Thanksgiving from 8 a.m. ‘til 6 p.m. The festival includes watching an old time cane press, making syrup, homemade biscuits, syrup, sausage and milk gravy, or chip beef barbeque sandwich, listen to blue grass and gospel music or take the children to the petting zoo. There's also arts & crafts and a hayride. For more details
visit: http://www.grantchristmastreefarm.com

If you have a Christmas Tree Farm that you would like listed here, please email louisianatrekker (at)gmail(dot)com.

PHOTO CREDIT: Leyland Cypress from The National Christmas Tree Association

Sources: Southern Christmas Tree Association
Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry
www.garden.com
Louisiana Forestry Association

Other links about caring for real trees and finding tree farms from the LSU AgCenter and the National Christmas Tree Association.

Selecting a live Christmas tree from the LSU AgCenter

Real Tree Safety Tips, Not Scare Tactics

Selecting and Caring for a Real Tree


If you don't see the tree farm you are looking for then try this link to The National Christmas Tree Association or the Louisiana Forestry Association 

November 05, 2010

Step Back in Time at the Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk.


The 7th Annual Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk tours will begin at 12:00 Noon on Saturday, November 13, with the last tour starting at 3:00 p.m. and lasting a little over an hour.

The tour will feature ghosts and living history lessons from actors and actresses in period costume portraying Minden’s past leading citizens. Step back in time as you listened to the stories being told.  In a little over an hour, you can see Confederate soldiers along with early business leaders, teachers, doctors and politicians. This is a rare opportunity to learn about Minden’s past community leaders, citizens and history. The Ghost Walk teaches you how Minden’s women and men endured through great hardships and strived to overcome great obstacles to make Minden what it is today.

If you missed the tour last year, you don’t want to miss it this year. For more information on the Minden Cemetery located on Bayou Avenue and the annual tour, visit http://www.mindencemetery.blogspot.com/ or you can contact Schelley Brown at 318-423-0192. 

BROUGHT TO YOU IN PART BY THE WEBSTER PARISH CONVENTION AND VISITORS

By: Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau

November 03, 2010

Winnsboro-Franklin Parish Chamber of Commerce Christmas Events

Christmas Events

The annual Christmas Parade sponsored by the Winnsboro-Franklin Parish Chamber of Commerce is scheduled for Friday, December 3, on the streets of downtown Winnsboro.

This year's event marks the eighth year the parade has been held after dark, and parade organizers note that the event has grown each year. As usual, the parade will be the culmination of a week-long series of yuletide events in Winnsboro.

Float builders are encouraged to contact the Chamber office to register their float for the parade, which will draw thousands of viewers from throughout Franklin Parish and beyond.

"Last year couldn't have been any better because of the snow that fell before and during the parade," said parade co-chair Paul Price, Jr. "We really don't expect that to happen again, but you never know."

Price noted that the annual event has become a great advertising opportunity for local and area businesses.

"If the past few years have been any indication, this is a great opportunity for local businesses to get their name before the public because, weather permitting, there will be a huge crowd watching the parade."

Bands, elected officials, and beauty queens, along with beautiful lighted floats will comprise this year's parade, which will follow the traditional parade route in downtown Winnsboro.

In addition, a limited number of local non-profit organizations will be selling food and beverages in selected spots along the parade route.

The parade will culminate with the annual fireworks display at Landis Park.

"This event continues to grow, and we hope groups from throughout the parish will enter floats in this year's parade," said parade co-chair Noble Ellington III. "Cash prizes will be awarded to for the best floats, and we hope the friendly float building competition among our local banks and businesses to maintain its intensity."

Commercial float entries will compete for the Santa trophy that they will get to display for a year, while non-profit groups will compete for cash prizes in different categories.

Antique cars are also encouraged to participate in this event, and trophies and cash prizes will be awarded to the top three vehicles. This category is open to any antique car owner within the parish and beyond.

"Car owners will need to register with the Chamber office by November 24," Price said. "Owners can contact the chamber office of visit the chamber website for entry forms."

Also on tap during the week following the Thanksgiving holidays is the annual tree lighting ceremony across the street from Winnsboro City Hall. That event will take place on Tuesday, November 30, at 6 p.m. at the gazebo, and will be coordinated by Wellspring.

Christmas trees sponsored by local businesses on the "Trail of Trees" along the Walking Trail in Winnsboro will also be turned on during the week, and on Thursday, December 2, the annual Children's Christmas Parade will be held on the streets of downtown Winnsboro starting at 6 p.m.

Children from throughout the parish are encouraged to "dress up" their bicycles, electric cars, and wagons and participate in this event.

Entry forms, rules, and other parade information are posted on the Chamber website at http://www.winnsborochamber.com/christmasforms.htm.

Information from Winnsboro Chamber of Commerce.

Christmas Parade in Coushatta

The Coushatta - Red River Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a Christmas Parade on Thursday, December 2nd.

The Town of Coushatta will sponsor a Fireworks Extravaganza after the parade; the viewing area will be at the Boat Launch under the Red River Bridge.

The parade line-up is at 3:00 p.m. at the Fair Grounds and the parade will roll at 4:00p.m.(schools will let out at noon that day).  The parade route is from the Fair Grounds and will end on Front Street in front of the Methodist church.

Information supplied from Red River Chamber of Commerce.

Monroe Events for November

Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall
November 5-7, Free
Chennault Aviation and Military Museum of Louisiana, 701 Kansas Lane, Monroe
318-362-5540, www.chennaultmmla.org

Experience this unique expression of honor to the soldiers, sailors, and airmen who sacrificed for our country.

Taste of the Twin Cities
Showcasing local restaurants featuring samples of delicious food while retail exhibitors offer opportunities to shop from an array of specialties! And you won't want to miss the live entertainment by local musicians.
November 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Cost $15
West Monroe Convention Center, 901 Ridge Ave., West Monroe, Louisiana
www.tasteofthetwincities.org

Christmas on the River
November 27

Gallery Open House on Art Alley
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Downtown Monroe/West Monroe

Downtown Christmas Market
Noon to 5 p.m.
Downtown Monroe Riverwalk
100 N. Grand, Monroe

Christmas Express Train
4 p.m., 212 Walnut Street, Monroe

Lighting Ceremony
4:30 p.m., Antique Alley, Trenton Street, West Monroe

Little Miss Christmas on the River Pageant
6:30 p.m., Antique Alley, Trenton Street, West Monroe

November 28
Chamber Arts Brass Christmas Concert
4 p.m., Biedenharn Museum & Gardens, 2006 Riverside Drive, Monroe

For more events

Information from Monroe-West Monroe Convention & Visitors' Bureau

October 20, 2010

I Like Home The Best

by Angela Couch

It's rivers flow with a rhythm as they journey south. It's Magnolia blossoms, so striking in their beauty, give one a sense of strength wrapped in sleek satin. The sweet aroma of honeysuckle on the vine along it's country lanes soothe the soul. It's a place where people enjoy life in all of it's colorful hues and blends. A place where unique music, delectable food, or nature's bounty are reason enough to have a festival or throw a party. I'm talking about Louisiana. Even the name is a lovely melody.

Say it again, Louisiana.

We have such a wonderful country, filled with breathtaking vistas, endless fun, excitement and interesting people. After traveling in every state in America, except one, I have decided I like home the best. My goal, through a series of stories, is to give you a word picture of my area of Louisiana: its fun, its history, its attractions, its people.

I will be promoting events, highlighting history, supporting the arts, encouraging participation, and reporting on each event I attend or take a part in. Each month, my Facebook page, lists coming events and historical points of interest, highlighted by the crow as he flies 100 miles across north central Louisiana. Louisiana Trekker has graciously asked me to share with her readers some of the interesting places and people we see in this area.

Coming soon, two events we recently attended, the 55th Annual Louisiana Art and Folk Festival in Columbia, LA and Fall Fest & Antique Show sponsored by LaSalle Antique and Tractor Club based in Jena, LA.

Here are a couple of shots from those two events.



Louisiana, a lovely melody.

Photos and article copyright Angela Couch. All rights reserved. My not be copied or reproduced in any manner.

Can you smell it???? Cotton Candy, Corn Dogs, Sausage, Peppers and Onions...


Must be time for the Louisiana State Fair!!!

Alright, if you have read any of my past blog posts you know how much I love Louisiana. This time of year is one of my favorite times because I get to make memories with my family by visiting the State Fair of Louisiana. That's right, one of the highlights of the year is a trip to the state fair for a fun-filled day of eating, playing, riding, and having fun.

Trips to the fair bring back childhood memories of days gone by. Some things have not changed; the food, the smells, the carnies, and the rides.

This year's State Fair of Louisiana begins October 21 and runs through November 7. For a complete listing of all that the fair has to offer, visit their website State Fair of Louisiana. There are a series of concerts, rodeo, football classic, livestock shows, exhibits, rides and more. To view the special entertainment click here.

One event of interest is the World Championship Blacksmiths on October 22, 23, 24, 2010 at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum; visitors can watch a competition of blacksmiths creating a horseshoe.

An insider's tip: if you are able take off from school or work and get there between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and it is free to park and get into the fair; this will give you extra money to buy food or ride more rides!

Don't forget to visit the livestock barn and exhibit building while you are there. Many people have worked hard on different items to show at the fair from canned goods to arts and crafts.

Admissions
Ticket Prices
    * $8.00 Gate Admission
    * $28.00 Pay-One-Price *Includes Gate Admission and Ride Armband

FunPass - $75.00
    * Gate admission and armband for each of the 14 days the State Fair is open.
    * Once through the gate, redeem at Lowery Carnival office for FunPass ID.
    * Good for one person only. Non-transferrable.

Special Discount Tickets can be purchased at Brookshire's and Super One Foods.
Parking: $5.00
Hours of Operation : 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Opening Day Special - Dollar Day
Official Opening Day: Thursday, Oct. 21
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Free Parking & Admission
3:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.: $1 Parking/Admission/Rides*
Even Many Food Items will be sold for $1!

October 15, 2010

Shhhhh Central Louisiana has a Secret

My mission when I travel is to find new and unique places to eat and visit. One of my favorite shows on television is Diner's, Drive Inns, and Dives. I just love seeing these real restaurants with real people who have a passion for what they do. I love smelling the food and taking in the local flavor. What really makes traveling fun and exciting is experiencing different cultures and people. One thing that I've noticed is that when you step off the beaten track and give local restaurants and businesses a chance you can find some GREAT people and places.

I'm going to let you in on a secret in Alexandria...you may already know about it...but in case you don't then you need to know about it...okay...I'm going to whisper it to you now...Atwood's Bakery on MacArthur Drive. There. Now you know. Whew, I feel better because I don't like keeping secrets.

When I find a great place I just want to share it with everyone. I'm sure if you are from Alexandria or Central Louisiana then you already knew about Atwood's Bakery. It has now made it to my list of must visit places on my trips to Alexandria. To be honest I love baked goods so I try to stay away from them and if I lived in Alexandria then I would have to take up extreme exercising because I would want to visit here often.

Our first few trips to Atwood's consisted of doughnuts or pastries and they were delicious! On our last trip we decided to take our little ones with us and actually go inside. The plan was to pick out some goodies and hit the road. When you walk into Atwood's you are immediately greeted with the smells you would expect from a bakery the overwhelming smell of buttercream frosting and assorted confections hit you like a ton of bricks. The variety is overwhelming (at least to those indecisive types as myself; I absolutely hate to go to cafeterias because there are too many choices and I start having a panic attack!). There are pastries, cookies, pies, cupcakes, Gelato, tea, coffee, cakes, candy and oh so much more.

Once everyone decided upon what they wanted to try, we decided to sit and eat our goodies. Below you will see what the little ones picked out...two monster cupcakes please. Only our son would not eat his; he liked it too much. He sat there at the table while everyone else ate their delicious treats and he would not eat it. It was not until we got home and took a picture of it would the boy eat it. Now, I don't know what planet he is from because I too had a cupcake (chocolate with buttercream frosting) and I had no problem gobbling mine right up.
Monster Cupcake from Atwood's Bakery in Alexandria
(The cupcake suffered some damage on the way home.)

I wanted to sample one of everything...that's how good everything looked and smelled. What I noticed while sitting there with my family and enjoying our break from the world was the friendliness of the staff and people who worked there. The atmosphere was relaxed and it felt like a place that you just wanted to stay and hang out for a while. Not many places these days give off that vibe. (I found myself singing the Cheers theme song in my head..."you wanna go where everybody knows your name...)

While we were waiting for our order we were drooling over the gelatos (which are fresh made right there at Atwood's Bakery). They offered us a sample; not just one flavor but I believe that if we had wanted to sample every flavor they would have let us. (oh and it was delicious!!!) They were friendly and nice. I felt special. Yes, in this day and age of fast food and rude workers; I actually felt like they had pride in their product and wanted to share it with me. What a great feeling!

Now, I have a quest. Now, I am going to have to try everything they have and find a favorite. That may take me years as their menu is quite extensive. The list is small right now....one cupcake, check; one eclair, check; one cannoli; check; one cream puff; check... It will be a while before my next trip to Alexandria but until then I'm dreaming about Atwood's Bakery and what to sample next.

I think in my zeal to share my secret I forgot to tell you that Atwood's Bakery also has a deli where they serve soups, sandwiches, salads, and breakfast. (Deli Menu) There is an extensive sandwich list including a build your own sandwich.

So, the next time you are in Alexandria, make it a point to drop by Atwood's Bakery. There's something for everyone. Prepare to be blown away! One other item of interest is that Atwood's Bakery was on TLC's Ultimate Cake Off. Wow! That's really cool. Louisiana has some really cool people!!

In my quest to promote Louisiana and our businesses, I must ask you that if you live in the Cenla area, please give this local business your money. We need to keep our dollars locally and spend them with the hard working and great entrepreneurs who make our state so great. For that next family gathering, Sunday dinner, special occasion, baby shower, birthday, wedding or other celebration, go to Atwood's Bakery and give them a try. I'm already trying to figure out how to move closer...so I can complete my quest!


Visit Atwood's Bakery at 1125 MacArthur Drive, Alexandria, Louisiana. Call 318-445-5134 or toll-free 800-374-8236

Rejoicing in the Roses at the Gardens of the American Rose Center

Rejoicing in the Roses, a celebration of contemporary praise music is set for Sunday, October 17, 2010, from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Gardens of the American Rose Center. Three outstanding local praise groups will be performing live in the Gardens at the Windsounds Carillon Tower. Refreshments will be sold.

Performances are as follows:
• 2:00 p.m.: Gospel Quartet, Heaven’s Echoes
• 3:30 p.m.: St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Combined Adult and Children Choirs
• 5:00 p.m.: Silent Singers of Waller Baptist Church

Individual Admission:
• $5.50 per person
• Free: Ages 5-younger and ARS/ARC members

Group Admission:
• $3.50 per person for groups of 10 or more
• $35: Mini-bus
• $75: Bus

Gardens of the American Rose Center
Home of the American Rose Society, the Gardens of the American Rose Center was 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, Director of Communications

318-938-5402
www.ars.org

August 13, 2010

A brand new day for Louisiana

There has been an idea brewing in my head for months now, I can't seem to shake it, so I'm going to go for it. One of the goals of this blog is to promote and bring attention to the great things that Louisiana has to offer. I focus on North Louisiana because this is where I grew up. This is what I know. This is my backyard. I am not an expert on Louisiana but I am passionate about this state and the culture. There are so many things to do and see. To visit Louisiana is to experience a people and a culture that is very diverse. The natives of Louisiana know how to live and experience life. There's a deep connection to the land, the outdoors, the arts, music, food, friends and family. The people of Louisiana are proud of their heritage and their history. This culture is what makes Louisiana unique. The food is influenced by so many cultures from around the world. To travel to Louisiana one must experience the food and flavors, the sounds and vibes, the arts and music, the products and people. Louisiana is not just a destination, it is an experience.

In the beginning, this was just a way to promote the people, places, products and events of North Louisiana; now it has become a journey. The very way of life in Louisiana is being threatened. For generations this state has relied upon tourism and industry to survive. There are very good people who work to make these jobs happen. Now, their very existence is threatened. My attention is still going to be focused on North Louisiana but I will not neglect the rest of the state. I will support my local seafood industry as I have since the beginning. I will support the entire state and their products and I implore you to do the same.

My family and I have supported local products for many years. When we have a choice we buy local, Louisiana-made products. We support great LOCAL Louisiana restaurants. We purchase great Louisiana food from many different people. You would be amazed at the many products that are available that are made right here in this great state!

This journey is not ours alone, there are many who have taken it before us and many who will continue it long after we are gone but my goal now is to take it up a notch. I plan on still promoting Louisiana events, businesses, travel destinations and products but I also want to give you an inside look into things that make this state great. If you are from Louisiana I hope that you will email me and share your ideas and comments. If you know of a business or place that I should feature, please let me know. Like I said before, I'm not an expert on Louisiana but I am passionate. I'd love to hear from you.

When I was growing up, I did not realize what a special place Louisiana was. I took for granted the pine trees, lakes and outdoor activities. I took for granted the friendly people and the great food. Now that I'm older I appreciate these things and I am thankful that this is where I call home. I have fond memories going to Toledo Bend with my grandparents. I have fond memories of playing outside. I have fond memories of traveling the great state to visit relatives. These memories are what keep me grounded and give me a sense of belonging. The past ten years I have had the opportunity to travel extensively in North Louisiana and explore the area with my family. We've hiked Mt. Driskill (Louisiana's highest elevation), visited Bonnie & Clyde Trade Days, enjoyed fishing and playing at Toledo Bend, visited Grand Bayou and Nichols in Coushatta, walked through historic Natchitoches front street, eaten at many, many great restaurants, visited alligator farms and the Alexandria Zoo.

If you haven't had the pleasure of exploring your own backyard, then please make plans today to explore the back roads of Louisiana. Stop at some local restaurants, shop at local stores, meet some new people and make some new friends. Enjoy one of the many festivals that celebrate our heritage. Our state needs help right now. We desperately need people to come visit and explore. We need locals to shop locally and keep their money here. This is a plea to think before you go out to eat, try some of the great local establishments. Shop at your local stores and look for locally produced products. Support our local economy. In the end everyone will benefit!

Thanks for reading and please email me if you have any suggestions! I look forward to sharing my journey with you and I would love to hear what you are doing and finding in this great state!!

July 02, 2010

July events in Monroe

The Monroe Jaycees present
CenturyLink Independence Day Celebration
Activities from 2 pm to 9 pm
Fireworks 9 pm

Forsythe Park
Free Admission

****

WMMX Independence Day Celebration
July 3 & 4 · 3 pm
West Monroe Motocross


Don't miss a weekend filled with racing, BBQ, live music,
children's activities and a fireworks show!

****

Lunch at the Children's Museum
July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Noon
NELA Children's Museum

Enjoy "Tales and Tunes" every Friday in July with the
infamous storyteller Mrs. Moran! Be sure and
bring a sack lunch. Admission is $5.
www.nelcm.org · (318) 361-9611

From: www.monroe-westmonroe.org

June 29, 2010

Rock the Red in Alexandria

Summer Genealogy and History Camp

Monday, July 19, to Friday, July 23, 2010
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Alexandria Genealogical Library
503 Washington Street, Alexandria, Louisiana
318-487-8556
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Camp is open to boys and girls who have completed 6th grade to 15 years. Camp is limited to 15 campers. Camp fee of $10.00 must accompany Registration Form (call museum for form).

This Summer Camp is sponsored by the Alexandria Genealogical Library, the Alexandria Historical Museum and the Central Louisiana Genealogical Society.

Purpose of the Camp is to acquaint the participants with proper genealogical and historical research. Campers will fill out family group sheets for themselves, their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. Proper documentation of these sources will be discussed.

Campers will be given instruction on the use of computers in genealogical research and the role that the Internet plays.

Campers will need a three (3) ring notebook/binder for their information. Handouts will be given out to be placed in this notebook/binder. Campers will be acquainted with records found in parish/county courthouses. Campers will tour the Alexandria Historical Museum.

Louisiana History Museum, 503 Washington Street, Alexandria, Louisiana 71301
Dale Genius, Director & Curator, 318-487-8556
Web sites:
www.louisianahistorymuseum.org

See How They Run presented by Lagniappe Theatre Company



You DO NOT want to miss this comedy featuring professional actors from all over the country and also some amazing local talent mixed in!

So swift is the action, so chaotic the situations, so rib tickling the plot in this Comedy Smash that at its finish you're left as exhausted from laughter as though you've run a foot race. Galloping in and out of four doors of an English parsonage are an American actor and actress, a boy-crazed maid, an old church lady lurking around every corner, while four men dressed as ministers try to hide their true identities. Russian Spies, Mistaken Identity, and Loads of Laughs. It's like I Love Lucy on steroids! Great for the whole family! Don't miss the laughter!

You'll pay for the whole seat, but you'll only need the edge!!

WHERE: Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center,
1202 Third St., Alexandria, Louisiana

WHEN: Thursday July 15 at 7 p.m., Friday July 16 at p.m.,
Saturday July 17 at p.m., Sunday July 18 at 2:30 p.m.

HOW MUCH:
$15 adults, $12 for children 12 & under/Seniors 55 & up,
$10 for groups of 10 or more.

For tickets call 318-48-STAGE or purchase them at Cenla Broadcasting
at 1115 Texas Ave.

Lagniappe Theatre, PO Box 14015,
Alexandria, Louisiana
From: Lagniappe Theatre

Celebration on the Cane set for July 4

There will be fun for the entire family at Celebration on the Cane, Natchitoches’ Fourth of July celebration.

Enjoy a free live concert on Sunday, July 4 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the Fleur de Lis Stage. Rivers Revue, led by Hardrick Rivers, is a four-piece band specializing in a variety of jazz, rhythm and blues, zydeco and folk music.

The highlight of the evening will be a fireworks show over Cane River Lake that will take place at approximately 9:30 p.m. The downtown bridge will also illuminate with patriotic lights and patriotic music will play for all in attendance.

Many retail shops and restaurants located within the National Historic Landmark District will also be open for business on July 4. Visitors can also take a horse and carriage tour of the downtown area and visit other local attractions including the Fort St. Jean Baptist State Historic Site and the Natchitoches Alligator Park.

For more information about Celebration on the Cane, please call the Natchitoches Main Street at (866) 941-6246 or the Natchitoches Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 259-1714.

From: Natchitoches Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LA DOTD) announces that beginning at 11:30 pm on Tuesday July 6, 2010, the bridge over the Red River on LA 6 (Grand Ecore Bridge) will be completely closed until 4:30 am on Wednesday July 7, 2010. The Grand Ecore Bridge is located over the Red River on LA 6 approximately 0.35 miles west of its junction with LA 486.

The intent of this closure is to allow the contractor to set deformed reinforcing steel on the bridge structure. During this closure, detour signs will be in place which will direct traffic to the next closest bridge crossing of the Red River in Coushatta.

For more information on upcoming night closures and general project updates, the public can call (318) 793-4445 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additionally, the public can view project information and updates at the following web address: http://www.dotd.la.gov/administration/public_info/projects/GrandEcoreBridge/

Any questions regarding this information should be directed to the project engineer who is administering this contract for the LA DOTD, Mr. Michael DeSelle, at 7900 Hwy 1 Bypass in Natchitoches, LA or 318-357-3158.

June 28, 2010



Blueberry Bake-off at the Cane River Green Market

The Cane River Green Market will host a blueberry bake-off Saturday, July 3 on the downtown riverbank.

To celebrate blueberry season, vendors, customers or anyone interested can show off their baking skills by entering their favorite blueberry dish in the Cane River Green Market blueberry bake-off.

All baked goods must be at the Cane River Green Market tent by 10 a.m. The first-place winner will be announced at 10:30 a.m. and an assorted baking gift basket will be awarded.

Blueberries are at their peak during the month of June in Louisiana. These little blue treats make a great snack and not only are they good, but they are good for you too. Blueberries are a great source of vitamin C, manganese and dietary fiber.

Blueberries are currently available at the Green Market each Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon on the downtown riverbank.

So come out to the Green Market, get your blueberries and show off your blueberry baking skills! For more information, please contact Leslie Smith at 352-CRGM.

By: Leslie Smith, Main Street Manager, City of Natchitoches

May 19, 2010

Cane River Green market will continue May 22

Variety of children’s activities to be held on Saturday

Cane River Green Market, Natchitoches’ local farmers market, will continue its 2010 season on Saturday, May 22 from 8 a.m. to noon on the downtown riverbank.

Besides fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs and plants, customers can choose from a selection of “value-added products” including farm fresh eggs, homemade breads, jams, jellies, pickles and much more. Craft vendors have handmade items such as woodwork, furniture, jewelry, bird houses and feeders, one of a kind art work and soaps.

This Saturday, customers can find beans, cucumbers, squash, green tomatoes, onions, cabbage, potatoes, goat cheese, honey, smoked boudain, tamales, smoked crab dip and so much more. Market patrons can also enjoy free coffee and “Louisiana Cooking” magazines while supplies last.

This Saturday children and families will be entertained with a variety of activities including live music by children’s artists Monty and Marsha Brown from 10 a.m. until noon. The Browns have written many songs together, including "Would You Fly?" and "Cajun Christmas" used in the movie Steel Magnolias.

Sci-Port Science Center will also be onsite presenting “Stufee’s Lunchbox” at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. During this interactive educational program kids will discover where there food goes after eating and how it is processed by their body. There will also be education information regarding the food pyramid and healthy foods.

There are still openings for the Breakfast with the Chef for Kids-Green Eggs and Ham. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 352-2746.

The Green Market will be open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon until July 31 and a complete schedule of events can be found at www.canerivergreenmarket.com.

All activities of the Cane River Green Market are free and open to the public. For more information, please call 352-CRGM.

By: Leslie Smith, Main Street Manager, City of Natchitoches

May 05, 2010

Forest service and Kent House to host "Kent House Bug Day"

The USDA Forest Service and Kent Plantation House invite children of all ages (and their parents) to attend the third annual “Kent House Bug Day” from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Saturday, May 8. The event will take place at the Kent House, 3601 Bayou Rapides Road in Alexandria. “Kent House Bug Day” is free and open to the public.

“For the third consecutive year, we’re partnering with the Kent Plantation House to offer kids the opportunity to have fun while learning about the beneficial role insects play in maintaining Earth’s ecological health,” said Doug Streett, project leader for the Southern Research Station’s insect research unit in Pineville, La. “We have an exciting line-up of activities for kids to enjoy as they explore the world of insects and see first-hand the benefits and challenges bugs bring to our lives.”

After entering the event, children will be given a “Bug Passport.” Children who get their passports stamped at all eight “bug stations” will receive a special gift. The stations are:
  • Louisiana Insects: See mosquitoes, fire ants and termites, and learn fascinating facts about these pesky pests;
  • Insectivores: See a hedge hog, bearded dragon, toad, bullfrog and salamander – some of which may eat live insects;
  • Night Insects : Visit a dark room with night insect sounds, place your hand inside mystery boxes and guess contents, and view live cave cockroaches with flashlight;
  • Beneficial vs. Pest: Hold live Bess beetles, see insects up close and personal, learn how insects help or harm humans;
  • Honey Bees: Learn about honey bees, hold honeycombs and taste different kinds of honey;
  • Pet Bug: Make your very own bug home and take home a live insect, learn how to care for your bug and how to catch/trap additional insects;
  • Ant Trail: Pretend you’re a leaf-cutting ant and carry a leaf through an obstacle course to reach your nest; and
  • Bug Food: Create ants on a log, pretzel butterflies and other delicious snacks. There will also be a photograph opportunity to have pictures taken with live Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches.
For more information about “Kent House Bug Day,” call the Kent House at 318-487-5998 or the Southern Research Station at 318-473-7242.

The Kent Plantation House is one of the oldest standing structures in the state of Louisiana. Kent House offers tours and special events to visitors who want to see the homestead and working plantation of a successful Creole family typical of 18th Century Louisiana.

Learn more about the Southern Research Station’s Insects, Diseases, and Invasive Plants of Southern Forests research unit, based in Pineville, La., online at: www.srs.fs.usda.gov

BY: Alexandria/Pineville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

April 19, 2010

Louisiana Resort Unveils Six-Mile Mountain Bike/Hike Trail



Cypress Bend Resort, set on 600 acres along the shores of Toledo Bend Reservoir in northwest Louisiana, will celebrate the grand opening of its new mountain bike and hike trail on Sunday, May 23.

Appropriate for most skill levels, the new trail is designed with elevation changes up to 190 feet and features five possible loop distances ranging from one to six miles. Moreover, several loops can be combined to create longer distances. Winding through tight and open-forest sections, the trail also runs along Toledo Bend Reservoir providing great views with every turn. Hikers are welcome to enjoy the trail but must yield to riders.

Resort guests have free access to the trail while non-resort guests pay $10 per day. Or, for $20 per day, non-guests can access the resort’s fitness center, indoor/outdoor pool, sauna and showers.

As part of the grand opening, Cypress Bend Resort is hosting a free Fast Lap Challenge event for mountain bike enthusiasts to officially establish the fastest lap time.

Starting at 12 noon, the Fast Lap Challenge will allow mountain bike enthusiasts to race the clock along six miles of grueling climbs, wicked downhills and a diverse mix of land characteristics and elevation.

Participants must register for the Fast Lap Challenge by May 16, 2010 at www.cypressbend.com/trails. Bikes and helmets will not be provided.

These new mountain bike and hike trails complement the resort’s existing amenities including 18-holes of world-class golf (the course is part of Louisiana’s famed Audubon Golf Trail), guided fishing excursions, a full-service day spa and indoor/outdoor pool.

For reservations, call 877-519-1500 or visit www.cypressbend.com.



About Cypress Bend Resort

Located 73 miles south of Shreveport in Many, Louisiana, Cypress Bend Golf Resort is an intimate, full-service resort nestled in a forest of oak and pine trees on the shores of Toledo Bend Lake. Features include 18-holes of on-property, championship golf; a full service spa and fitness center; heated indoor/outdoor pool; and a restaurant and bar.

Cypress Bend’s 95 guestrooms and suites include a large desk with data ports, an ergonomic chair and complimentary high-speed Internet service. The resort also offers fourteen spacious Golf Suite condominiums overlooking the driving range with 1,250 square feet of pure luxury. Each Golf Suite contains a fully equipped kitchen, fireplace and whirlpool tub.

Photo Credit and Submitted by: Cypress Bend Resort

April 09, 2010

The Public is invited to attend rose show and educational seminars

The American Rose Society's 2010 Spring National Convention

The American Rose Society Spring 2010 National Convention & National Rose Show will take place in Shreveport, Louisiana, April 29-May 2. The public is invited to attend the Rose Show, a display of hundreds of spectacular blooms, on Saturday, May 1 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Shreveport Convention Center. The National Rose Show is a free event.

The public is also invited to attend various educational seminars on how to grow great roses from the ground up, beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 1. Topics include: “Soil… the lowdown on Dirt!”; “New Notions of Good Fertilizing Practices”; “Integrated Pest Management, including Chilli Thrips”; “Landscape Design and Healthy Roses, the Earth-Kind Way”; “Companion Planting in the Rose Garden” and “From the Ground the Vase: Arranging your Roses.” It is $10.00 to attend any or all educational seminars.

NATIONAL ROSE SHOW FAST FACTS:
WHAT: American Rose Society, 2010 Spring National Convention, National Rose Show
WHEN: Saturday, May 1, 2010, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m., Ballroom B
WHERE: Shreveport Convention Center, 400 Caddo Street, Downtown Shreveport, LA

EDUCATIONAL SEMINARS FAST FACTS:
WHAT: American Rose Society, 2010 Spring National Convention, Educational Seminars
WHEN: Saturday, May 1, 2010, Red River Board Room
WHERE: Shreveport Convention Center, 400 Caddo Street, Downtown Shreveport, LA
TIMES:
10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m. “Soil… the lowdown on Dirt!”
11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. “New Notions of Good Fertilizing Practices”
1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m. “Integrated Pest Management, including Chilli Thrips”
2:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. “Landscape Design and Healthy Roses, the Earth-Kind Way”
3:00 p.m. – 3:50 p.m. “Companion Planting in the Rose Garden”
4:00 p.m. – 4:50 p.m. “From the Ground the Vase: Arranging your Roses”

By: Maria Scott, Director of Communications,

Spring Herb Day at Kent Plantation House in Alexandria

Spring Herb Day, April 10, 2010 from 8:00 - 12:00 noon. Because of the unusually harsh winter here in Central Louisiana, our herb order has been increased. In addition to the additional good quality herbs always featured, there will be plants that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. We have also been able to locate something just a little different this year such as artichoke, asparagus fern and the very popular and much requested rose geranium plants. The Central Louisiana Rose Society will be selling cuttings of Kent House roses as well as other varieties. The Kent House Gardeners will be selling plants and the Colonial Dames their delicious home-made desserts.

Presentations:
Growing Old Garden Roses 9:00 a.m.
How to Use the Herbs You Grow 10:00 a.m.

Kent Plantation House
3601 Bayou Rapides Road
Alexandria, Louisiana 71303
318-487-5998

By: Alexandria/Pineville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

April 07, 2010

Cane River Green Market coordinator named

Farmers Market begins April 24

Shelton Meacham has been named the coordinator of the Cane River Green Market for the 2010 season.

Meacham will be the onsite coordinator each Saturday at the market to assist customers, vendors and patrons. He will also assist the Main Street Office in promotions, special events and educational programs during the market season.

Meacham is originally from Shreveport but has resided in Natchitoches for over six years. He obtained a bachelor of arts degree from Centenary College and a master of arts degree from Northwestern State University. Meacham also taught as an adjunct professor in the NSU Creating and Performing Arts Department.

"I really like the farmers market and I am excited to be a part of the 10 year anniversary," Meacham said. "I hope that I can assist in moving the market into the next decade."

The 2010 season of the Cane River Green Market will begin on Saturday, April 24 and will run through Saturday, July 31. The Green Market will be open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. on the downtown riverbank. This will mark the 10 year anniversary of the farmers market.

Vendors will have a variety of fresh produce including fruits, vegetables and eggs in addition to plants, herbs and eggs. Shoppers can also find homemade items such as breads, jams and jellies and honey products.

Craft vendors are selling handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry, woodwork, pencil drawings and stained glass. There will also be birdhouses, candles, soaps and much more.

Vendors are being sought to participate in the 2010 Green Market season. Vendors pay a booth fee of $15 for each market day they attend. All vendors must grow their own produce or make their own products.

Applications may be picked up at the Main Street office located at City Hall or by visiting the web site at www.canerivergreenmarket.com. For more information, please call the Cane River Green Market at 352-CRGM.

Alexandria Spring Artwalk April 16

The City of Alexandria along with the Arts Council of Central Louisiana will host the Fall Artwalk on Friday, April 16, 2010 from 5:00-8:00 pm.

The Artwalk is a free, family-oriented walking tour that features visual art and live entertainment. Downtown sidewalks, green spaces, and the alleys will come alive as local artists display and demonstrate their works of art. Artists will have booths set up in the Alexander Fulton Mini-Park. Qualifying sale items may be purchased free of state municipal tax under the guidelines of Alexandria’s designated cultural district.

Visitors can tour our various museums, studios, and galleries to view exciting exhibits and live music within a few city blocks. Kid Merv, a New Orleans jazz band, will play on the steps of City Hall.

Local businesses open for Artwalk include: Alexandria Museum of Art, River Oaks Square Arts Center, Finnegan’s Wake, Diamond Grill, Tamp and Grind Coffee House, T.R.E.E House Children’s Museum, and many, many more. The Tom Peyton Memorial Arts Festival will open on the night of the Artwalk as well.

For more information on the Artwalk, please call (318) 449-5051.

By: City of Alexandria

Stroll Front Street this Friday at the Alive After 5 Art Walk


The Natchitoches Main Street Program will continue the Alive After 5 program on Friday, April 9 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with a downtown art walk.

The art walk will take place on the south end of Front Street from Church Street to Trudeau. Over 15 artists will be displaying demonstrating and selling unique works of art such as pine needle art and baskets, batiks, pottery, paintings, photography, wire art and much more.

Children will also have the opportunity to create their own finger painting master piece at the art walk. In addition, there will be a wine tasting by On Cloud Wine and live jazz music by Luke Brouillette. Of course, downtown shops and restaurants will be open for the public’s enjoyment.

The Natchitoches National Historic Landmark District has been designated as one of Louisiana’s Cultural Districts, which means qualifying art work will be tax exempt to buyers at the Alive After 5 Art Walk.

Artists’ exhibit spaces are available at no cost but must be reserved in advance by contacting the Main Street Office at 352-2746. Exhibit forms are also available at the Natchitoches Art Guild and Gallery located on Front Street.

All events are free to the public and tourists and residents alike are encouraged to become more engaged in downtown arts and culture. Additional Alive After 5 events will be held on May 22, June 12 and July 4.

Alive After 5 is supported by a grant from the Louisiana State Arts Council, the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, and the Shreveport Regional Arts Council. Additional funding is provided by the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission.

For more information about Alive After 5, call the Main Street Office at (318) 352-2746 or toll free at (866) 941-MAIN.

By: Leslie Smith, Main Street Manager, City of Natchitoches

BAFB AIR SHOW

Barksdale Air Force Base presents the Defenders of Liberty Air Show
on
April 24 and 25, 2010
Gates Open: 9 a.m. • Show Time: 10 a.m.
Free Admission • Free Parking

www.barksdaleafbairshow.com


April 06, 2010

Tracy Lawrence to entertain at DeltaFest on April 14-18


It's festival time in Louisiana! Actually Louisiana is home to so many festivals that on any given weekend there is a party somewhere. The party is happening in Monroe, Louisiana at the DeltaFest on April 14-18 at the Monroe Civic Center.

This year's DeltaFest promises to be a crowd pleaser with musical entertainment by Tracy Lawrence, LC Smoove, Rachet and more. DeltaFest a family-friendly festival that has a little something for everyone -- carnival rides, food, shopping, entertainment and more.

2010 DELTAFEST EVENTS & ACTIVITIES

Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Gates are open from 5 - 11 p.m.
Stone Cold Country from 6-10 p.m.
Family Night Wristband Special 5:00 p.m. - close

Thursday, April 15, 2010
Gates are open from 5pm - 11pm
LC Smoove: 6 - 10 p.m.
Family Night Wristband Night Special 5:00 p.m. - close

Friday, April 16th, 2010
Gates are open from 5 p.m. - 12 midnight
Ratchet: 7 - 7:45 p.m.
Tracy Lawrence: 8:15 p.m.

Saturday, April 17, 2010
Gates are open from 10 a.m. - 12 midnight
Crawfish Scramble at Chennault Golf Course: 8 a.m.
Little Miss & Mister DeltaFest Crowning in Kid's World: 11a.m.
Kids Day: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Delta Kids Community Stage: 12 noon - 3 p.m.
Mason Creek Band: 2 - 7 p.m.
Frankie Beeze
Mike Epps, Comedian
Monica

Sunday, April 18th, 2010
Gates are open from 11a.m. until 10 p.m.
Rockin Dopsie: 2:00 p.m.
Keith Franks: 6:30-10:30 p.m.
Last Blast: 12 noon - close

Source: Information from DeltaFest Festival

April 05, 2010

24th annual Franklin Parish Catfish Festival

Wanna have some fun and sample some great food too? Then head out to Historic Downtown Winnsboro, Louisiana to the 24th annual Franklin Parish Catfish Festival on Saturday, April 10 in.

Enjoy the sounds of the Christian Contemporary group 33 Miles, featuring Gilbert native Jason Barton; the Bluz Boys; festival newcomer, Janice Bell; and Christian rap artist, B. Reith.

Also performing are Mason Granade, Blues artist YZ Ealey, local favorite Mike McKenzie, local rapper Big Al, Lil Nate, and the Franklin Parish High School Band.

There will be thousands of pounds of fried, pond-raised catfish, as well as vendors with different products, an antique car show, flower show, and more.

The festival is sponsored by Franklin Parish Tourism along with Delta Glass and Trim and Verizon, as well as the Louisiana Department of Tourism.

Admission to the festival is $3 per person.

Off The Wall Fundraiser

Hosted by the Twin City Art Foundation to benefit the Masur Museum of Art. The event includes cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and a silent art auction of over 40 works of art by Northeast Louisiana's finest artists and selected national artists.

Friday, April 9, from 7 - 9 p.m.
$35 individual tickets / $50 couples
at the Masur Museum of Art, 1400 South Grand, Monroe


Please call 329-2237 for tickets and more information.

By: Masur Museum of Art

Jazz on the River 2010: A Continuum of New Orleans Jazz

The Arna Bontemps African American Museum will present its 15th Annual Jazz on the River, Saturday, April 17, 2010, at the Alexandria Amphitheatre in downtown Alexandria. Jazz on the River 2010, which is being held in conjunction with the South West Athletic Conference (SWAC) Tennis Championship Tournament April 15-17, will feature award winning international entertainer Kathy Wade “The First Voice of a New Era” of Cincinnati and The Nile Rhythm Band featuring Maynard Batiste in a free evening concert (6-10 PM) on the banks of the scenic Red River.

Also performing will be the Bontempian Big Band, a 16-20-piece jazz ensemble comprised of outstanding Central Louisiana high school students who participate in a jazz residency under the direction of noted music educator Wilmer Christophe.

Kathy Wade, #1 Jazz and Blues Vocalist on MP3.com; #1MP3.com Jazz Vocal Time to Say Good-bye featured on Sci-Fi network’s First Wave sound track and featured in Essence Magazine, March 1999 (Teaching With Music). Kathy is an award winning international entertainer whose “rich interpretative skills as a song stylist extraordinaire” capture the imagery of emotion on her recording, You Got The Magic and upcoming release, Kathy Wade, Klassic. (DAKA Music) “Magic,” recorded in Los Angeles, accents Kathy’s “multi-octave contralto of effervescent energy” with world-renowned musicians including Gerald Albright, Harvey Mason and GRAMMY nominated arranger, Producer/Pianist, Bill Cunliffe. Kathy has opened for Dionne Warwick, Cleo Laine, Nancy Wilson, Diane Schuur, Shirley Horn, Anita Baker, Kenny G, Whitney Houston, David Sanborn, George Benson, Al Jarreau, Stephanie Mills, Jonathan Butler, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Will Downing, Najee and Ramsey Lewis.

The Nile Rhythm Band featuring Maynard Batiste, Jazz pianist and composer, “taking Jazz and Rhythm to another level.” Mr. Batiste is the son of the late, great Alvin Batiste, Jazz clarinetist.

Jazz on the River is a free outdoor community jazz concert sponsored by the Arna Bontemps Museum every year since 1996. The organization has three major reasons for producing and presenting this program:

  • to provide audiences outside of New Orleans and the “Jazz Corridor” a chance to experience live jazz, one of Louisiana’s richest art forms and arguably its greatest gift to the world;

  • to cultivate more venues for the performance of jazz in Central Louisiana, of which there are very few;

  • to showcase the art form which profoundly influenced Arna Bontemps and other artists of his era – the Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz Age – including Langston Hughes, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and Ernest Hemingway. Over the past ten years, Jazz on the River has evolved into Central Louisiana’s premiere jazz event, each year featuring an impressive line-up of internationally acclaimed jazz artists and local talents. Past performers include Ellis Marsalis, Alvin Batiste, Kathy Wade, the Ed Perkins Quartet, the Quamon Fowler Quintet featuring Grammy®-nominee Maurice Brown, Kent Jordan, and Grammy®-winner Nicholas Payton.
Jazz on the River 2010 is a continuum of New Orleans jazz, the birthplace of jazz.

Jazz on the River is sponsored by the Arna Bontemps African American Museum and co-sponsored by the City of Alexandria.

Tables with a seating for ten will be available for reservation at $200.00 to help offset the cost of the concert. For more information, contact the Museum at 318-473-4692 or 318-448-4697.

By: Alexandria/Pineville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

Bottles & Brushes at Masur Museum

Join us in the Masur Museum's Carriage House to create your own work of art under the instruction of artist Lou Davenport Kavanaugh while enjoying wine with friends.

Think you can't paint? Don't worry! Our professional artist instructor will teach you step by step how to create the featured work of art!

Bring your favorite bottle of wine or other beverage. We provide all the art materials, bottle openers, glasses, and instruction! At the end of the evening you will leave with your very own work of art!

The class is Thursday, April 22,from 6 - 8 p.m. Cost is $35 for museum members and $40 for non-members. Contact 329-2237 to register, space is limited and payment is required in advance. Masur Museum of Art is located at 1400 South Grand in Monroe, Louisiana. Visit www.masurmuseum.org.

Alive After 5 Art Walk in downtown Natchitoches on April 9

On Friday, April 9 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., the Natchitoches Main Street Program will present an art walk as part of the Alive After 5 series of events. The art walk will take place on the south end of Front Street where area artists will be displaying artwork for sale and providing artist demonstrations.

Children will have the opportunity to create their own finger painting master piece at the art walk. In addition, there will be a wine tasting, live jazz music by Luke Brouillette and friends and downtown merchants will be open late for shopping.

The Natchitoches National Historic Landmark District has been designated as one of Louisiana’s Cultural Districts, which means qualifying art work will be tax exempt to buyers at the Alive After 5 Art Walk.

Artists’ exhibit spaces are available at no cost but must be reserved in advance by contacting the Main Street Office at 352-2746. Exhibit forms are also available at the Natchitoches Art Guild and Gallery located on Front Street.

Alive After 5 is a six month series of evening events taking place in the Natchitoches Historic District. The series includes art events, concerts, theatre and other cultural activities.

All events are free to the public and tourists and residents alike are encouraged to become more engaged in downtown arts and culture. Additional Alive After 5 events will be held on May 22, June 12 and July 4.

Alive After 5 is supported by a grant from the Louisiana State Arts Council, the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, and the Shreveport Regional Arts Council. Additional funding is provided by the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission.

For more information about Alive After 5, call the Main Street Office at (318) 352-2746 or toll free at (866) 941-MAIN.

By: Leslie Smith, Main Street Manager, City of Natchitoches

The Gardens of the American Rose Center opens for 2010 season

Experience more than 20,000 roses in bloom as the Gardens of the American Rose Center. The Gardens are open from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $5 for ages 12 and older, $4 for seniors 60+, $3 for children 6 - 12, 5 and younger are free. For more information, 318-938-8051.

The 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, ARS

_________________________________________________________________

Green Thumb Seminars at The Gardens of the American Rose Center

The Gardens of the American Rose Center is hosting a Green Thumb Seminar with former Shreveport Rose Society President Charlotte Haring on Saturday, April 10 at 10:00 a.m. in the Klima Rose Hall, the American Rose Society Education & Visitor Center. Haring will be discussing “David Austin and his English Roses.” The seminar is free and open to the public. For more information 318-938-8051.

Charlotte Haring is a former President of the Shreveport Rose Society, a Consulting Rosarian of the American Rose Society and a Past President of the Louisiana State Museum Landscape and Grounds Advisory Board.

Green Thumb Seminars are held each month at the Gardens of the American Rose Center and features a new gardening topic and speaker. Gardens of the American Rose Center
It 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, ARS

March 27, 2010

Benefit for Shreveport Regional Arts Council

Eddie Spencer on SaxophoneRHYTHM & SOUL FOOD
BRUNCH AND JAZZ REVUE

Sunday, March 28th, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Real Jazz! Real Cuisine! Real Artistry! Real Soul!

at the Bijou Wine Bar, Clyde Fant Parkway, Downtown Shreveport (across from El Dorado Casino)
Tickets include the upscale jazz brunch - featuring Chefs J.L. Scott and Chris Hayes, signature cocktails and live classic/ contemporary Jazz.

Cost: $40 in advance and $50 at the door - For reservations or information call 318-861-1886.

This event is brought to you by My Spa My Way Day Spa & Salon, Culinary Passions Catering, and the Bijou!

Gardens of the American Rose Center Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 27, 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. Rain date is scheduled for Sunday, April 3.

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, Director of Communications, ARS

February 21, 2010

Que'in On The Red



“Everything’s goin’ up in Smoke”, city of Alexandria hosts its 5th annual barbecue festival, Que’in on the Red, March 19 – 20, 2010.

This Memphis Barbecue Network sanctioned festival offers 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".

North Levee Park, 550 North 3rd Street, Alexandria, LA 71301
March 19th-20th 2010

Admission: $10 Adults; $5 Children 12 and under; General Admission, No reserved seating

Que'in On The Red

February 11, 2010

Tipitina’s Music Office Co-Op FEBRUARY SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

REOCCURING WEEKLY EVENTS

Thursday(s), February 4, 11, 18, 25, 2010 4:30pm- 6:30pm
R&B Jam Session with Dynamic Jake
Mature teens and adults, bring your voice or an instrument to plug in and join the fun. Audience members welcome; please call ahead for large groups. Alcohol and drug free event. Admission is free. Please call the co-op for more information.

UNIQUE EVENTS
Saturday, February 27, 2010 3:30pm- 5:30pm

Songwriting Workshop with DC Sills and NSAI
If you are a songwriter, lyricist, composer, and you would like to meet with like-minded people on a regular basis, please come join others for this awesome monthly group. The sessions are sure to include constructive criticism, idea exchange, and “playing in the round”. Alcohol and drug free event. Admission is free. Please call the co-op for more information.

Tuesday, February, 2010
Adobe Photoshop with Jesse K. Butler
Whatever your specific question is regarding photoshop, chances are Mr. Butler can help you. He holds an M.A. in graphic arts design, and has years of experience working with the adobe suite products. You are welcome to sit in and observe, bring your laptop, or use a co-op PC, but don’t miss out, because these classes are sure to help you on your way to designing that super duper website or basic poster you want. Alcohol and drug free event. Admission is free. Please call the co-op for more information. Date and time TBA.

Saturday February 20, 2010 12:00pm- 2:00pm
Pro-Tools with Adrian Chandler
It is essential in today’s audio recording world to be familiar with software interfacing. If you’ve been curious to learn about ProTools audio recording software/digidesign mixer and how to get started, then don’t miss this session. Adrian will help you on your way to basic set up, tracking, editing, etc. Alcohol and drug free event. Admission is free. Please RSVP to the co-op; call for more information.

Tipitina’s Music Office Co-Op, 321 DeSoto Street, Alexandria, LA 71301
318-442-6463
myspace.com/alexandriacoop
alexandria@tipitinas.com

GARDENS OF THE AMERICAN ROSE CENTER ANNOUCES SPRING GREEN THUMB SEMINAR SCHEDULE

The Gardens of the American Rose Center announces the Spring Green Thumb Seminar Schedule. Green Thumb Seminars are held on the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m. in the Klima Rose Hall, the American Rose Society Education & Visitor Center. Each month features a new speaker and a new gardening topic. Each seminar is $5.00 per person. The seminar is free for members of the American Rose Society and/or the American Rose Center. For more information, please contact Ellen Trice at 318-938-8051.

2010 SPRING GREEN THUMB SEMINAR SCHEDULE

March 13, Dr. Joe White, Topic: Lawns
April 10, Marilyn Wellan, Topic: David Austin and His English Roses
May 15, Dr. Peter Gallagher, Topic: Irrigation Alternatives for Landscaping
June 12, Carolyn Hayward, Topic: Landscaping with Roses
July 17, Claude Graves, Topic: Earth-Kind Roses

Speakers
Dr. White is a retired Extension Horticulturist with the Louisiana Agricultural Center and a columnist for the Shreveport Times. Marilyn Wellan is a former President of the American Rose Society. Dr. Peter Gallagher is a Professor of Plant and Environmental Science at Louisiana Tech University. Carolyn Hayward and Claude Graves are Consulting Rosarians for the American Rose Society.

The 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.

Released By: Maria Scott, Director of Communications

January 27, 2010

Mardi Gras in Central Louisiana

Calendar of Public Events for Mardi Gras Celebrations in Alexandria, Louisiana

Saturday, February 6, 2010 (1:00 PM), Woodworth Mardi Gras Parade, 318-308-7697

Thursday, February 11, 2010 (6:00 PM), Krewe of Antiqua, Olinger Hall, Prompt Succor School, Alexandria, LA, Live Band, Heavy Hors d'oeurves, Senior Citizens: $1, Non Senior Citizens: $3, 318-487-1561

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 (Noon), LSU Alexandria Mardi Gras Parade, 318-427-4403

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 (6:00 PM) Krewe of Kolbi Bow Wow Ball, Alexandria Zoo, Sponsored by the Zoo and the Alexandria Animal Shelter, 318-473-6469

Friday, February 12, 2010 (4:30 PM), College Cheerleaders & Classic Cars Parade, Downtown Alexandria - Murray - 5th - Jackson - 4th - 3rd to St. James St., 318-427-6407 or 318-442-9533

Friday, February 12, 2010 (6:00 PM & 7:00PM), Taste of Mardi Gras, Reserved Tables: 6:00 PM, General Admission: 7:00PM, Louisiana Restaurant Association, Alexandria Riverfront Center, Ticket Information: 318-793-4570

Saturday, February 13, 2010 (10:45 AM), AMGA Fourteenth Annual Children's Parade, Downtown Alexandria -Murray - 5th - Jackson - 4th - 3rd to St. James St., 318-443-0520 - Cell 452-2068 - Fax 767-5941

Saturday, February 13, 2010 (2:00 PM), King Cake Party, Alexandria Zoo

Sunday, February 14, 2010 (11am to end of parade) FREE ZONE - Alcohol/Tobacco free area. Enjoy Mardi Gras in a whole New way! Alexandria Mall - Circuit City parking lot. Free food and drinks. Inflatable jumpers/slide, children's activities. Bead bags given to the first 500. All children under 17 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. No ice chests allowed. No previous consumption of alcohol before entering zone. Bring lawn chairs.

Sunday, February 14, 2010 (2:00 PM) AMGA Seventeenth Annual Krewes Parade, Parade Route: Texas Ave. - Masonic - Memorial -North Boulevard - Alexandria Mall

Tuesday, February 16, 2010 (3:30 PM) Krewe of Provine Parade, Parade Route: Coliseum Boulevard - Hwy28 West

Tuesday, February 16, 2010 (6:00 PM to 10:00 PM) Fat Tuesday Party - That's A Wrap! Ticketed event at The Diamond Grill, 924 Third Street – Downtown Alexandria. Hors d’oeuvres – Cash Bar - Live Music Tickets are $25 in advance -- $30 at the door

FROM: www.alexmardigras.com

“TRIMPIN: THE SOUND OF INVENTION” IS FOURTH FILM FOR SOUTHERN CIRCUIT TOUR OF INDEPENDENT FILMMAKERS

The Arts Council of Central Louisiana presents “Trimpin: The Sound of Invention” with Producer/Director Peter Esmonde as part of the Southern Arts Federation’s Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers at the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center on Saturday, February 13, 2010 at 7 p.m.

This documentary explores the outrageous work and agile mind of Trimpin, a wildly creative artist/inventor/composer/engineer who uses only his last name. Recipient of a MacArthur Genius Award and many other accolades, Trimpin combines music-making machines and kinetic sculpture with homegrown computer technology. Working six days a week, 12 hours per day, he has no use for galleries and agents, and has neither web site nor cell phone – in fact, Trimpin agreed to be the subject of this feature film only reluctantly. Filmmaker Peter Esmonde set out to document the processes of a highly creative person working in many fields, with a motley assortment of media and collaborators, across a variety of situations. His film deliberately highlights Trimpin’s moments of discovery, relentless problem-solving, and eccentric decision-making. What results is an amusing, kinetic exploration of a creative genius in perpetual motion.

“Trimpin: The Sound of Invention” has screened at a number of prestigious film festivals. In the United States, the film has shown at South by Southwest, Silverdocs, the Seattle International Film Festival, the Independent Film Festival of Boston, the Nashville Film Festival, San Francisco DocFest, and the Newport International Film Festival. “Trimpin” has also screened in London, Barcelona, Gijon, Sao Paolo, and other cities around the world.

The Southern Circuit, now in its 24th year, brings six independently produced films to host cities over the course of eight months, along with the films’ directors and producers, who participate in a question and answer session with the audience after the screening of each film.

A trailer for Trimpin: The Sound of Invention is available on the Arts Council of Central Louisiana’s website at www.louisiana-arts.org, along with trailers for each of the films featured in the Southern Circuit.

Tickets for the screening are $5 and may be purchased at the box office on the day of the screening, or in advance by calling the Arts Council of Central Louisiana at (318) 443-4718. Those with Silver Ticket Passes may attend a private VIP reception with the filmmaker before the show. The filmmaker will conduct a Q & A session after the film.

By: Arts Council of Central Louisiana

GARDENS OF THE AMERICAN ROSE CENTER HOSTS ANNUAL PRUNING PARTY

The Gardens of the American Rose Center is hosting its Annual Pruning Party on Saturday, February 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The public is invited to help us care for our roses.

Pruning is an important part of rose care that encourages new growth and blooms. Participants’ efforts will directly enhance the beauty of the gardens. Everyone is encouraged to participate, regardless of gardening experience, and may bring pruners, gloves and trowels. Noted Consulting Rosarian Baxter Williams will present a “how to” pruning seminar.

A complimentary lunch will be served at noon at Klima Rose Hall. Please contact Ellen Trice at 318-938-5534 for reservations. Reservations are encouraged but not required.

The 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, Director of Communications, American Rose Society