The free, interactive, environmental festival celebrates the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary and will be held in Lake End Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Expect to see animals, interactive exhibits, the Cast Net King, live music, folk life demonstrations and much more.
Four bands will provide music: the Moss Pickers at 10 a.m., four-time Grammy nominated Pine Leaf Boys at 12:30 p.m., Tommy G & Stormy Weather at 2 p.m., and Jeffrey Broussard & the Creole Cowboys at 3:30 p.m.
La Fête d’Ecologie is an annual, one-day festival with distinct Louisiana flair. It is a celebration of the environment, history and unique blend of cultures found in the estuary, defined as the 4.2 million acres between the Atchafalaya and Mississippi rivers.
Much like its people, the estuary truly is unique. It also is the most rapidly dis-appearing area on Earth and is one of the world’s richest natural resources providing fisheries, farmland and oil and gas resources to the nation.
“BTNEP thanks the Jean Lafitte National Park Service in Thibodaux for their tremendous support in the past, and it was a tough decision to move La Fête,” BTNEP Executive Director Kerry St. Pé said.
“However, we recognize that Floodfight 2011 was a learning curve in environ-mental issues for many citizens, and we’re pleased to bring La Fête to Lake End Park so they can learn more about their environment while having a great time,” St. Pé added.
Traditional folk life artists, government agencies, non-profits and educational groups participate every year with interactive exhibits to teach children and adults about the history, culture and bounty of the environment, as well as their efforts to restore Louisiana’s wetlands.
Visitors can learn about traditional wooden toys, how to carve a duck decoy, re-cane a chair and make a cypress paddle. They also will view the making of primitive weapons and cast nets as well as honing the skills required to use them.
There are not many other places on Earth, if any, where visitors can show off their skills in a cast net throwing contest. And it is a well-known fact that La Fete is the only festival attended by the Cast Net King. This is the only time anyone can catch a glimpse of the mythological King who lives in the swamp, 45 minutes south of Thibodaux.
He only emerges from the swamp to enter the cast net throwing competition in order to regain his title, and to raise awareness of Louisiana’s disappearing wetlands.
The Cast Net King also likes to sample the native dishes of Louisiana at the festival including gumbo, beignets, hamburgers, home-made pies and more.
La Fête is made possible through the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary Founda-tion and the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP) as well as its generous sponsors and donors.
BTNEP is congressionally mandated to help preserve and restore the Barataria-Terrebonne estuarine system. BTNEP’s mission is to rebuild and protect the estuary for future generations through the implementation of a science-based, consensus-driven plan that utilizes partnerships focused on the estuary’s rich cultural, economic and natural resources.
To learn more about BTNEP, it’s programs and La Fete, visit the website at http://lafete.btnep.org.