NEW IBERIA, La. --- One tapa, one plate of paella... For the second year, New Iberia will celebrate its Spanish roots at El Festival Español de Nueva Iberia Nov. 15 - 17, 2013.
"The mission of El Festival Español de Nueva Iberia is to celebrate the 1779 founding of the City of New Iberia by 16 families from Malaga, Spain; to create an educational and cultural exchange of food, music, art and history between New Iberia and the Andalusia region of Spain; and to recognize the contributions of the original Spanish settlers to our culture," said Ebrar Joseph Reaux, festival chair.
Friday, Nov. 15, Charles Holloway, Ph. D, will give a free lecture on the history of bullfighting at 6 p.m. at the Essanee Theater (126 Iberia St.). At 7 p.m., the Bayou Teche Museum will unveil its "Spanish Bullfighting Exhibit" exhibit at 131 E. Main St.
A Spanish gala will follow at 7:30 p.m. at the Sliman Theater, 129 E. Main St. Guests will enjoy wine, beer, fine cuisine from 13 restaurants, and entertainment by Ven PaCa Flamenco dancers and Spanish guitarist John Lawrence. Tickets for the gala are available in New Iberia at Paul's Flower & Gift Shop (110 Weeks St.), A&E Gallery (335 W. St. Peter St.), or by calling 337-369-2330. The $75 ticket price includes a one-year membership to La Asociación Española de Nueva Iberia, the organization hosting the festival.
Saturday, Nov. 16, the celebration will resume with the "Running of the Bulls" 5K run and one mile walk/run (8 a.m., Fulton Street, Register.cajuntiming.com), followed by an opening ceremony to welcome and recognize visiting guests from Spain (10 a.m., Steamboat Pavilion, 102 W. Main St.), and a light hearted interpretation of the Spanish arrival on Bayou Teche sponsored by the Iberia Performing Arts League (Steamboat Pavilion, 10:30 a.m.).
As the day continues, the Steamboat Pavilion will resonate with musical and dance performances, including Mariachi Jalisco, John Lawrence and Ven PaCa, as well as Roddie Romero and the Hub City All-Stars with special guest Carol Fran.
Starting at 11 a.m., revelers will get a taste of Spain at the Paella/Tapas Cookoff at Bouligny Plaza. They can enjoy the children's tent and arts and crafts booths at Bouligny Plaza, as well as exhibits at the Bayou Teche Museum and a genealogy display of New Iberia's founding families at the Sliman Theater.
The celebration will conclude Sunday, Nov. 17, at noon with a mass dedicated to the Spanish founding families and visitors from Spain at St. Peter's Catholic Church, E. St. Peter St.
El Festival Español de Nueva Iberia is hosted by La Asociación Española de Nueva Iberia, Inc. (LAENI) and the New Iberia Main Street Program, and funded in part by grants from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation and the Louisiana Main Street Program (Main to Main).
LAENI is a nonprofit, volunteer organization incorporated in the City of New Iberia to serve as a vehicle for the recognition and promotion of the Spanish ancestry and culture of local families. LAENI encourages, supports and directs programs and activities involving educational, culinary, musical and art exchanges while creating awareness and deeper understanding of our local Spanish heritage.
For more information, contact Ebrar Reaux, 337-349-7343, firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here for the schedule of events