Acadian Festival set for return, decision coming on July 4th event

Staff Report

A decision will be made this year on one annual Plaquemine event, while a longtime tradition is set to make its return.

The midway and carnival attractions synonymous with  the International Acadian Festival.

The International Acadian Festival will be back on schedule this year, barring any unforeseen circumstances that could lead to cancelation of the fall tradition.

“We are on track for a full festival on the fourth weekend in October, if nothing changes,” said Steve Smith, speaking on behalf of Knights of Columbus Council No. 970, which has organized the event since its inception in 1969, when it was held as “The Cajun Festival.”

The Mark A. “Tony” Gulotta Waterfront Park has been the host site for the festival during the past several years.

The City of Plaquemine, meanwhile, was set to meet this week to make a decision on whether to hold the Fourth of July celebration.

Mayor Ed Reeves said he hopes to see the city resume the annual Independence Day tradition, which became a mainstay event for the city in 2001.

The coronavirus pandemic forced cancellation of last year's Fourth of July celebration in Plaquemine.

“Time is running short, and we still don’t have a band,” he said. “But if the numbers continue to decline in the pandemic, we may be able to hold the event … I certainly hope so.”

Both events fell along the wayside amid uncertainty over how long the pandemic would persist.

The ease in restrictions Gov. John Bel Edwards announced last week have brought hope to organizers of events locally and statewide that many traditional events could return this year.

The Acadian Festival includes rides, food, live music, vendor booths and many other festivities. The arrival of Evangeline held the week before the festival along Bayou Plaquemine.

The July 4th celebration – also at the waterfront Park -- features food, games and live music, along with an honorary parade for military veterans. A fireworks display along Bayou Plaquemine caps off the event.