Edgar Dugas III told the council the ninth event’s preparation has been made all the easier with the cooperation and help of city staff and departments.
The festival is now a chartered non-profit organization, Dugas also said, rather than under the auspices of the Black Bear Conservation Committee national group. He thanked the BBCC for supporting the festival thus far and “helping us get to this point where we can stand on our own and go out and do our own thing. This will be our festival run by a group of local directors and officers.”
Dugas also noted that, “This is the third year that the Bayou Teche Wooden Boat Show will be showing in conjunction with our festival. Gary Blum and Roger Stouff have done an excellent job taking that thing from about 10 boats, to 25 last year and I think there could be as many as 50 to 60 boats this year. So as you can see there’s a lot of good traction, positive traction as people are coming into the community from out of town and out of state.”
There’ll be an expanded children’s area in the Bear Festival, with new games and other attractions. “We still don’t have rides, but the hands-on arts and crafts, storytelling, puppet shows, magic shows, we’re bringing in a lot of that sort of thing,” Dugas said.”
Donovan Garcia is organizing two paddle tours on the wildlife refuge, Dugas said, and canoes are available but in limited supply. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will again be offering motorboat tours through the refuge. “You sign up in the old Blevins Building and they’ll get you on a boat tour throughout Saturday, out of the Franklin Canal boat landing,” he said.
Crowning of the queen is at 5 p.m. Saturday and fireworks at 8 p.m. Bands will be playing all weekend.
“Again, it’s free to the public,” Dugas stressed. “That’s something we’ve been striving to keep.”
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