NEWS

A CENTURY OF HISTORY: Locks centennial celebration set for Saturday

Staff reports

Celebrate a century of Louisiana's historic waterways, at Plaquemine Lock SHS's annual Lock Fest, this year commemorating the 100th  anniversary of the Lock opening on April 9, 1909.  Festivities -   including celebrations of Louisiana State Parks' 75th Anniversary -are scheduled for Saturday, April 4.

   "Our State Parks and Historic Sites are vital to preserving our state's history.  They're also an important economic engine, attracting visitors and creating jobs," said Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu, whose office oversees Louisiana's State Parks. "Along with all of our State Historic Sites, Plaquemine Lock allows our visitors and citizens to experience Louisiana's heritage."

   Ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m., including a rededication of the Lock. Following the ceremony, visitors can join in the commemoration with tours of the lock house and lock chamber. A local band, Unfinished Business, will perform live music from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and free jambalaya will be served, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Displays will be set up on the lock grounds featuring the history of Louisiana State Parks, in recognition of the system's 75th Anniversary during 2009. "Plaquemine lock provided critical access to the Atchafalaya Basin for the timber industry that flourished in until the 1930s," said Dr. Stuart Johnson, Assistant Secretary for the Office of State Parks. "We invite the public out, on April 4, to join us in recognizing this significant site and in observing Louisiana State Parks 75th Anniversary, being celebrated all through 2009." Plaquemine Lock State Historic Site is a five-acre complex that includes the historic lock, which operated from 1909-1961.  The lock was designed by Colonel George W. Goethals, who later designed the Panama Canal.  The site is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Admission is will be free to all visitors, for this special event. For more information about the 75th Anniversary and Louisiana State Parks visit www.lastateparks.com or call 1-888-677-1400.