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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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Annual Leeville festival set for April 1

Annual Leeville festival set for April 1

This Saturday, April 1, at the 4th Annual Leeville Arts and Heritage Festival, locals and visitors alike are invited to celebrate the historic south Lafourche fishing village with food, arts and crafts and live entertainment.

This year's Festival won’t be held in the village that it’s named for, but instead will be held in nearby Golden Meadow.

There isn't enough physical land in Leeville to support the growing festival, said festival organizer Janet Rhodus, and because of the coastal erosion that continues to plague Leeville, the decision was made to move the festival to Golden Meadow.

Rhodus, of Launch Leeville, said the festival’s main objective is to raise awareness about Leeville and the toll land loss has taken on the community.

Leeville precariously sits miles outside the parish's levee system to the north, and only 10 miles of open water and marsh to the south separate it from Port Fourchon.

Since the opening of the elevated LA 1 Highway, Leeville has seen a decline in the amount of visitors and fishers. Now, the population has shrunk to an estimated 30 people, said Rhodus.

But the festival, going on its 4th year, has been successful at bringing more attention to the community and helping people reconnect with the area, Rhodus said.

"I do it because I don't want this French and Cajun culture to die," said Rhodus.

The family-oriented festival is free to the public and features arts and crafts, heritage exhibits, food, live entertainment and a shrimp boulette and cracklin’ cooking competition.

Members of the Houma Indians will also present basket weaving demonstrations.

The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Oak Ridge Community Park in Golden Meadow. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy the sounds of Southern Cross as the band will perform from 2-5 p.m.

This year, the festival is also holding its first charity fishing rodeo, Fishing for a Friend, at Top Water Marina, 24015 LA 1, in Leeville. The rodeo will raise money to go towards the medical expenses of 7-year-old Brooklyn Verdin, of Bourg, who suffers from multiple physical conditions after she was born with placenta stuck to her brain.

For more information on the event or the rodeo, call Rhodus at 225-413-4414.