Benjamin Bruce

Young Benjamin Bruce is trying to step into his famous late grandfather's footsteps and start his career in Cajun music. Check him out Saturday at Lafourche Heritage Day. 

We have such a rich history here in southeast Louisiana - a history and heritage unlike any other place in the world.

That Cajun culture will be on full display this weekend in Galliano as part of a fast-growing Lafourche Parish tradition.

Lafourche Heritage Day will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the South Lafourche Public Library - the second installment of this annual day.

The event is designed to help our community share its culture and remember our ancestors. 

Several activities are planned throughout the day - fun the entire family can enjoy.

"I'm so thankful to members and participants who are donating their time and talents to share our culture and remember our ancestors," said Gayle Duet, the Chairman for Lafourche Heritage Days. "I'm so especially thankful to the Lafourche Parish Public Library for their generosity and hospitality in allowing us to use their building to celebrate."

Lafourche Heritage Days were conceived by the Center for Bayou Studies at Nicholls State University.

The Lafourche Parish Council recognized the event in 2018, and the tradition lives on.

Ms. Ophelia Lefort was one of the inspirations for the annual event, and she will be on hand at the event to meet and veilee with attendees.

Duet said the event will have fun for everyone - people of all ages to enjoy.

At 10 a.m., Roland Cheramie and Friends will perform their Cajun Music "Petting Zoo," which will afford locals the chance to listen to and even learn how to play a little Cajun music.

From 11 a.m. - noon, Chef Randy Cheramie, of the John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University will tell some tales in "The History of Randolph's". 

At noon, the well-known Terrebonne Sisters will entertain with Theatre, Music and a Military salute to veterans. A Cajun Love Story entitled, 'A Cajun Lady,' written by Mary Alice Gleason will be performed by Merlyn Foret. Maryann Matherne Verret will also do a musical performance with a French version of the song, 'Oh Where Are You Going, My Dear Husband?' A third sister, Betty Lou Savoie will join and locals will enjoy a rendition of the famous Boogie Woogie Bugle Boys, an old wartime radio song about a virtuoso trump player - an old hit in WWII times. 

From noon - 1 p.m., participants can visit a technology lab where folks can watch Ms. Ophelia's 2018 One on One interview with Martin Folse on HTV 10, while also enjoying her Cajun commentary featured in 'Les Tresors', Early Cajun History in French, English and Cajun Music. Locals can also view the origins of LHD developed on Opl's Porch Party and videos of Louisiana history, as well as pictures of Bayou Lafourche by Louis Mayeur. 

Also from noon - 1:30 p.m., will be Painting BaYOU, where local artist Buffy Gisclair Charpentier paints a traditional Cajun culture scene in acrylic on canvas and participants will be invited to paint and learn. Ms. Ophelia will be on hand to offer advice in painting the scene, and face painting will be available, as well. 

Participants will be able to enjoy a Native American Full Regalia Dress and Dance Performance and a Maya Indian Cultural Dress and Folklore Dance Performance.

From 1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m., Lady of the Sea General Hospital will be on hand to give blood pressure screenings and family trees to assess risks to disease among participants.

And at 2 p.m., Benjamin Bruce, the 10-yard-old grandson of the late Vin Bruce, will take the stage and will show off his chops with a two-hour performance.

There will also be a children's room from 1-3 p.m. where there will be storytelling, crafts and more.

"There's something here for everyone to enjoy," Duet said. 

Throughout the day, there will be oral histories with National Park Service Ranger Allyn Rodriguez, and Mr. Ernest Savoie, the director of the Center for Traditional Louisiana Boat Building will also be on hand to teach locals about our area's boats, pirogues, skiffs, watercrafts and more.

And throughout the day, locals will be able to purchase the 2018 or 2019 poster commemorating the event.

The 2018 poster features Ms. Ophelia's painting 'Mother Baking Bread.' 

2019's poster was created by Mrs. Duet. It's titled 'Settling Down the Bayou,' and it depicts a gorgeous Cajun scene that reminds us of our roots and where we came from.

The motivation behind Lafourche Heritage Day is to protect who we are and allow it to foster and grow in future generations.

Dale Savoie, a 1964 graduate of Larose - Cut Off High School wrote a passionate plea on social media recently that the world is trying to change Louisiana culture, but that it's our duty to fight to protect who we are and where we came from.

"We have something special here that we have a right to protect," he said in his post, which generated hundreds of likes and dozens of shares.

Duet agreed and said she hopes to see everyone on Saturday to pass a good, old-fashioned family-friendly time. 

Follow Casey on Twitter for more. 

https://twitter.com/casey_gisclair

Casey Gisclair is the Sports Editor at Rushing Media. A native of Cut Off and graduate of Louisiana State University, Casey is a lifelong sports fan who joined the Houma Times team in Dec. 2009 upon college graduation.

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