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Acadian Odyssey: Festivals Acadiens

About This Daily Classroom Special
Acadian Odyssey, created by Ron Dupuis, explores the culture of his ancestors by visiting "real" Cajun towns, presenting folk stories and language, describing the unique Cajun way of cooking, and allowing web site visitors to experience numerous Cajun-related festivals in Southern Louisiana. Ron is a teacher at Scotlandville Magnet High School in Baton Rouge (LA) and former Teachers Network web mentor. 

"J'ai Fait Mon Idée" or "I Made Up My Mind" was the theme of this year's Festivals Acadiens in Lafayette, LA, held September 19-21. The festival was full of music, arts and crafts and of course, food!!! The festival began on a Friday morning with activities for the kids. That night, there was a huge street party with dancing and fun. Saturday morning started off with the Bayou Food Festival, where great Cajun food was served. And where there's food, the music isn't far away. The Festival de Musique Acadienne got underway with all types of great Louisiana artists performing Zydeco, Cajun, Jazz, Blues, and good-ole Rock 'n Roll. The Traditional and Contemporary Crafts Showcase kicked off on Saturday and continued until Sunday afternoon. There, you could find food, music, crafts and demonstrations to teach you everything you could possibly want to know about Cajuns and everybody else in Southern Louisiana.

This year's festival was a tribute to Alphé Bergeron. A pioneer in the rebirth and popularity of Cajun music, Bergeron fought to preserve the Cajun language and culture here in Louisiana. Putting aside his accordion to raise a family at a time when Cajun culture was considered "low-class," Bergeron finally dusted of this instrument and in 1947 formed a band called the Veteran Playboys. He even encouraged his son Shirley to get involved, having him play the guitar at the young age of 11. The father and son musicians went on to create many works, including the waltz from which this year's festival takes its name.

Originally, "J'ai Fait Mon Idée" was about the determination of a jilted lover to finally give up on his unrequited love. But used this year as the festival's theme, it refers to the determination of Cajun musicians who have used their music to preserve the Cajun culture in Louisiana and outside of our great state.


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