Southdown Marketplace a shopper’s delight

David Franklin
November 22, 2011
Whitney elected to Dist. 53 seat
November 23, 2011
David Franklin
November 22, 2011
Whitney elected to Dist. 53 seat
November 23, 2011

Looking to start your Christmas shopping early? Here’s your chance.

The Southdown Marketplace Arts and Crafts Festival, set for Nov. 5 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., offers one-of-a-kind, handmade items, fine arts and more.

With more than 300 booths, the festival draws 7,000 to 8,000 people each year, Southdown Plantation director Katie LeCompte said. A juried show, Southdown Marketplace requires interested vendors to submit photographs of their works to be considered.

“We really like unique vendors, something that you don’t see often,” she said. “We like a lot of artwork and crafts because everyone’s stuff will be different.

“We have items ranging from metalwork and jewelry to paintings, furniture and crafts,” she said. “Each year, the challenge is to find new and interesting products. We want to offer shoppers as diverse a selection as possible. We don’t want them to see the same thing around every corner.”

Southdown hosts a Marketplace twice annually, once in the spring and again in the fall. “The fall is the most popular show, by far,” LeCompte said, mainly because early holiday shoppers are looking to get a jump-start. “There are just so many great present ideas. It’s a fun way to spend the day shopping.”

Among the items for sale are clothes, woodcrafts, pottery, paintings, photography, toys, dolls, floral wreaths, candles, bath and body goods, gourmet food products, seasonal decorations, books by local authors, home-grown plants and flowers, face painting and more.

Returning this year is the “Kids’ Marketplace on ‘da Bayou,” a tent with activities, arts and crafts and games for children. Co-sponsored by Kids in Motion Playhouse Discovery Museum, activities include a market and cooking exhibit, local author presentation, storyteller and puppet show, bubble factory fun, old-time games and Cajun crafts.

“It’s something for youngsters to enjoy while their parents shop,” LeCompte said. Several activities are free; others cost $3 at most.

LeCompte said Cajun cuisine is another aspect that draws visitors. “We have a wide array of foods, including corn soup, which is pretty popular. It should be perfect weather for soup,” she said.

Shrimp jambalaya, chicken and sausage gumbo, red beans, white beans and familiar festival fare are also on the menu.

Admission to the festival is $5, which helps keep Southdown Plantation running year-round. “All the money we raise helps keep us open,” LeCompte said. “We usually earn enough money from this one event to operate for the whole year.”

Upkeep on the plantation, insurance and electricity bills, as well as public events account for a hefty share of operating costs.

“Because of the success of Marketplace, Southdown Plantation & Museum can stay open year-round promoting Terrebonne Parish’s unique culture and history,” LeCompte said.

Southdown Plantation is located at 1208 Museum Drive in Houma. For more information about the marketplace, call (985) 851-0154.

Shoppers experience more than 300 booths at this fall’s
Southdown Marketplace. Items range from one-of-a-kind handmade
items to jams to furniture and fine art.