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Sunday, June 23, 2019

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Nicholls hosting Lafourche Heritage Days

Nicholls hosting Lafourche Heritage Days

Citizens of Lafourche Parish can spend the first two weeks in November officially commemorating their history, culture, and heritage.

"Lafourche Heritage Days" was conceived by the Center for Bayou Studies at Nicholls State University to help Lafourche Parish citizens commemorate the origins of their diverse heritage and to advocate for the preservation of that heritage in the face of coastal land loss. It was made official by proclamation of the Lafourche Parish Council on February 27, 2018.

Dates for Lafourche Heritage Days, November 1st through 14th, were selected to commemorate the date of the first mass settlement in the parish, which corresponds to the arrival of Acadian refugees in 1785 within the borders of what was to become Lafourche Parish.

That settlement and their culture still pervades Lafourche Parish 233 years later. Hopefully, people will celebrate Lafourche Heritage Days in appropriately diverse ways each year in the future, and hopefully other parishes of the Lafourche Basin will join the annual commemoration.

It has been the dream of artist and Cajun heritage advocate Ophelia Pitre Lefort of Larose to set aside time during each year to remember our history and our responsibility to preserve it. Ms. Ophelia was the inspiration behind “Lafourche Heritage Days.”

The proclamation, resolved by the Lafourche Parish Council and sponsored by Councilman Corey Perrilloux earlier this year, reads as follows:

PROCLAMATION Parish of Lafourche

WHEREAS, requested on behalf of Councilman Corey Perrillioux, the Lafourche Parish Council wishes to proclaim November 1st thru November 14th as “Lafourche Heritage Days”; and

WHEREAS, Lafourche Parish is home to people of diverse ancestries and traditional lifeways; and

WHEREAS, the cultural history of Lafourche Parish began about 2500 years ago as the Mississippi River built the Lafourche Delta, providing land to support the lifeways of mound builders, coastal natives, and settlers from foreign continents; and

WHEREAS, the earliest documented and planned settlements along Bayou Lafourche began in the late eighteenth century under dominion of the Spanish Territorial government of Louisiana; and

WHEREAS, these settlers represent the largest single immigration of people within the boundaries of modern-day Lafourche Parish; and

WHEREAS, these settlers arrived in modern-day Lafourche Parish at the beginning of November 1785 and likely spent the next weeks clearing land, building homes, and inaugurating and establishing local culture before resting and celebrating their new land and home.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Lafourche Parish Council convened in regular session on February 27, 2018, that the Council does hereby declare November 1 thru November 14 as “Lafourche Heritage Days” in each year proceeding and encourages all citizens, civic groups, businesses, and institutions of the Parish to celebrate our unique cultural heritage with recognitions, gatherings, and other events worthy of our Lafourche ancestors and the heritage we uphold in their honor and for our children.

ON BEHALF of the Lafourche Parish Council, we do hereby set our signatures and have cause to be affixed the official seal of the Lafourche Parish Council, State of Louisiana, on this 27th day of February, 2018, at Mathews, Louisiana.

A number of events will be held during Lafourche Heritage Days.

The Louisiana Swamp Stomp Festival will be held on Saturday, November 3rd, at the Town Market near the tourism commission building in Raceland, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

On Friday, November 9th, the inaugural meeting of the Cajun Heritage (Cher) Coalition will hold a meeting at the Lafourche Parish Government Building beginning at 1:30 p.m. The meeting will feature a free discussion on Cajun culture and preservation and is open to the public.

On Saturday, November 10th, a special lecture on origin of the Lafourche Heritage Days, as well as the history and settlement of Lafourche Parish, will be held at the Lafourche Parish Library in Thibodaux at 10:00 a.m. and in Galliano at 1:30 p.m.

Also on Saturday, Nov. 10th, the Thibodeauxville Fall Festival will be held in Downtown Thibodaux.