NEW IBERIA, La. --- Savor the difference at the Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival on Sept. 25-29, 2013 in New Iberia. For 72 years, the festival has brought together sugar producing parishes to honor the sugar industry with royalty, sweet treats, fun and dancing in the streets. Set in historic New Iberia, the event has small town charm and features top notch entertainment.
"The Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival is a fun, fabulous way to honor our sugar cane farmers and producers, as well as our sugar cane industry, which is so vital to our economy and such a big part of our state's rich heritage," said Angela Blanchard, festival director.
Mitchell Brothers Shows carnival will run Wednesday through Sunday with 14 acres of rides and games for all ages at the Louisiana PepperPlex, 607 Sucrose Dr., off Highway 14 in New Iberia.
On Friday, people will dress like farmers for Sugar Cane Growers Day. They will hold a special service and blessing of the crop at 10 a.m. at the Sugar Cane Festival Building, 600 Parkview Dr. Local merchants and residents will add to the fun, decorating their homes and shops with special signs, designs and sugar cane stalks.
Parades will begin Friday with the Boat Parade followed by fireworks. The Children's Parade will roll Saturday, preceded by a free car show and Zydeco music by Lurry Sigue at Bouligny Plaza located at 102 W. Main St. Sunday, King Sucrose, Queen Sugar and other sugar parish queens will cruise on New Iberia's award winning Main Street at the Louisiana Sugar Parade.
Fais do do's will also spice things up at Bouligny Plaza. The fun starts on Thursday night with free entertainment by Shut up and Drive, Four Pauls and Seasoned Soul. On Friday, revelers will dance to the tunes of Beer 30, Steve Grisaffe and Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin' Cajuns ($5 cover). Saturday's headliners include Stevie B., Cajun Throwdown and Side Show ($10 cover). On Sunday, Colby Boudreaux and Southern Beat will play before the Sugar Parade (no cover). Children 12 and younger get in free to all performances.
Bouligny Plaza will offer a large selection of novelty items, arts and crafts, festival memorabilia and novelty items, along with hot and sweet treats. A Cake to Remember will host a sugar artistry display and tasting, which will include a replica of Queen Sugar's crown, at 204-B E. Main St.
The 4-H livestock show will be held in conjunction with the festival Thursday through Saturday at SugArena, 713 N.W. Bypass (Hwy. 3212). Iberia 4-H and FFA members will show hogs, steers, lambs and goats. 4-H and FFA members residing in Louisiana's 23 sugar producing parishes can also participate in the cattle and rabbit exhibit. 4-H is also sponsoring a sugar cookery contest, sugar cane exhibit and sugar cane judging contest. For more information on the 4-H show, call 337-369-4440 or visit lsuagcenter.com/en/our_offices/parishes/Iberia/
The Hi Sugar 5K Run will start from Bouligny Plaza at 7:30 a.m. on the Saturday before the festival (Sept. 21). The race will conclude with food, drinks, awards and door prizes. Contact email@example.com, runsignup.com/Race/LA/NewIberia/HiSugar5KRun
Other activities include the coronation of Queen Sugar, judging of best decorated storefronts and homes, as well as arts and crafts, garden/flower and photography exhibits.
"The Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival is heritage, a celebration of industry for all to be a part of and enjoy," said Doyle Copell, festival entertainment and logistics director.
"We want to invite everybody to come on out and enjoy a real sweet time," Blanchard added. "This is our second year coordinating this festival and it's been a labor of love. We would like to thank the community and sugar cane industry for all their support."
Official festival merchandise will be available in New Iberia at Sir Speedy (910 S. Lewis St., 337-364-8714), Advertec (206-A E. Main St.), Walgreen (1017 E. Admiral Doyle Dr., 337-367-7979; and 1102 Parkview Dr., 337-560-1807), and All About You (801 S. Lewis St., 337-560-8355). The festival poster donated by local artist Steve Seneca can be purchased at Sir Speedy.
For more information on the festival, contact 337-369-9323, firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook.com/LouisianaSugarCaneFestival
For a complete schedule of events, visit hisugar.org