'Experience Atchafalaya' Iberville style Oct. 23

Staff reports

Iberville Parish is joining with the Friends of the Atchafalaya's “Experience Atchafalaya Days” with a new event featuring   jambalaya and pralines, live Cajun music and demonstrations of local arts and crafts on Saturday, October 23, at the Iberville Parish Visitor's Center which opened earlier this year.

The free event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the center, located at I-10 and Bayou Grosse Tete.

Local carver and photographer John James Clark will display his “The Atchafalaya Spirit Paddle Collection,”a rare display of hand-carved cypress boat paddle designs such as, The Osprey, The Great Blue, The Gator Foot, and The Ghost. He also will demonstrate the use how to transform ancient driftwood cypress collected from the Atchafalaya Basin by hand into boat paddles.

Junior and Willie Edwards of the popular History Channel’s “Swamp People”, and who are from Bayou Sorrel, will be at the event.

Providing outreach and education activities will be the La. Dept. of Natural Resources’ Atchafalaya Basin Program members.

For the first time, local artist Edward A. “Lucky” SongyJr. will display his oil paintings capturing life in the Atchafalaya Basin in a show called “Canvassing the Atchafalaya.”

Local carver Farrell Lasaigne willdisplay his hand-carved “Atchafalaya Wildlife Creations,” including a large mouthed bass, a mallard duck, a bald eagle and other creatures carved from cypress driftwood collected from the Atchafalaya Basin, as well as demonstrate his craft.

In “Atchafalaya Lagniappe,”local craftsman/photographer/tour-guide Gene Senecawill show how he gives old cypress wood destined for a disposal new life as unique bird house designs, framed fleur de’ lis designs and other unique cypress wood crafts.

Local resident Erin Perryof Perry’s Seafood will demonstratehow to make crawfish traps by hand, using a method passed down from generations to generation as a way of life.

In “Pralines of the Atchafalaya,”local resident Jeannie Davidof David’s Country Cottages will teachthe local secrets and tricks that have been passed down from generation to generation and offer free samples as she makes them.

Seneca and local resident Wes Grissom will offer a “Bayou Boat Tour” by “Atchafalaya Lagniappe,”a gentle cruise down the historic Bayou Grosse Tete under the canopies of giant live oaks living along the bayou banks while observing local wildlife and native plants. They will discuss the challenges the bayou faces in becoming again a viable waterway for local residents, and the work that is being done.

Further information is available fromJohn Clarkat (225) 266-2274 or by email at jclark@ibervilleparish.com