Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Books Along the Teche Literary Festival 2019: Making my Schedule

Shadows on the Teche
Somehow in my past I had neglected reading The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. I remember when the book came out and I remember everyone reading it and talking about it. My daughter even read it (I think) because I had it on my shelf here for years; I never picked it up.

When I found out that author Rebecca Wells will be the featured author at the Books Along the Teche Literary Festival this year, I decided it was time to read the book. My librarian friend and fellow book-nerd insisted that I also read Little Altars Everywhere, which I did. Then I read Ya-Ya's in Bloom.  I now know the Ya-Ya's like my own family.

Now that I've read these, I'm excited to see Rebecca Wells next weekend at the literary festival! This is a woman that can tell a story! My favorite of the three books is Little Altars Everywhere but they are all wonderful; I have not read The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder yet, I've been so caught up in the Ya-Ya's. They remind me of my mother and her friends in a lot of ways and oh they are so Southern! 

So now I'm looking at the events schedule for the festival and trying to plan my events. This is more difficult than it sounds; there is so much I want to do!

We attended this festival last year and had a wonderful time, made new friends, and fell in love with Iberia Parish. That we would return this year was never in question. 

Do I want to do the same events I did last year?  (Yes!) Do I want to add new events? (Yes!) The festival organizers have spread things out a bit from last year and there are more opportunities to do things; for example, last year I missed most of the authors fair on Main Street because we were doing the Dave's Haunts and Jaunts tour. During the afternoon a nasty cold front blew in and by the time the bus tour was over most of the authors had closed up. 

Last year I didn't do the Bouree lessons and I think that would be sort of fun! 

This is my tentative schedule this year:

Louisiana Seafood Great Southern Chefs Foods Demo  9:30 - 11:00: this was great last year and
we got to sample delicious food!
Dave's Haunts and Jaunts Tour   12:30 - 3:00  We did this one last year but two things make me want to repeat this: James Lee Burke has released New Iberia Blues since then, and Danny Bonaventure. Danny is the tour guide and he's terrific, tons of fun, and excellent at his job.  This was a blast and I'm all in for doing this again.
Live Oak Walk  3:00 - 5:00  Main Street is lined with beautiful live oaks and I think this would be fun.  The walk is hosted by a local arborist and I would probably learn some things. We did not do this last year.  
The Jazz it Up Opening Reception  6:00 - 8:00  There is no way on God's green planet that I would miss this.  Hosted at the beautiful Shadows on the Teche plantation home of Weeks Hall, this was a fabulous event last year. The Bunk Johnson Brazz Band provides the music and there is a cochon de lait on the grounds under large white tents. If that's not your thing, you have the option of other seafood specialties. Tables are scattered on the grounds along the bayou and you can eat, visit, listen to music, and at the end of the evening there is a really fun second-line around the grounds! We met so many wonderful people last year at this event; it was one of my favorite things we did.  I'm all in
for this one.

So Friday looks to be a pretty busy day!  So far I've only picked up one new event.

The Dave's Haunts and Jaunts Tour runs again at 8:00; it is a possibility we might do it Saturday instead of Friday.  
Books Into Movies Panel Discussion  10:30 - 12:00.  I'm maybe interested in this event.  The panel will discuss what authors should know about making a film of their books. A lot of people tell me Cane River Bohemia ought to be a movie; I'm not so sure about that, but maybe I'll learn something or get some networking in via this panel. 
Allons Manger Food Truck and Music Event begins at 10:30 and runs until 1:30 while the Authors Book Fair runs from 9:30 - 3:00. I think I want to participate in both of these and have a fairly unscheduled day on Main Street, eating, looking at books, listening to music, and watching Bayou Teche.  This might give me time to visit the Bayou Teche Museum which we did last year and loved. 
Bouree Lessons are from 11:00 - 12:00 and I could fit that in, too.
University of Lafayette Academic Symposium 12:30 - 2:30.  We attended this last year and it was great; I definitely want to do this again.  The topic is James Lee Burke and Louisiana Politics: right up my alley. 

Now this is my problem: if I do the Symposium, I can't do the Reader's Theater which runs from 1:00 - 2:00, and I missed this last year, too. The actors are reading from Divine Secrets and this will be awesome!  Ugh!

From 3:00 - 5:00 Rebecca Wells will speak and I'm definitely doing this. I wouldn't miss a chance to meet this storyteller/author!  I bet this is going to be awesome!

The Boogie on Down Evening Party is from 6:00 - 9:00 and we will definitely do this again. It was great fun last year. Terry Huval and his group will play fabulous Cajun music, the food will be abundant and delicious, and the friendship and fellowship will be heartwarming!  

On Sunday, Steve and I will be heading back home so we will miss the Swamp Tours and the
Symphony in the Park. The trip home for us will include lunch in St. Martinville and a stop in Arnaudville to stock up on Bayou Teche Brewing beers and Cajun Saucer Pizza.  

It sounds like an exhausting weekend and I can't wait!  And even still there is not enough time to do it all. I did not even list the Art Guild Exhibit, the movie screenings, the Poetry and Music event, or the Sir Speedy Run.  

And my gosh, you're in Iberia Parish! When is there time to visit Avery Island? Rip Van Winkle Gardens? Konriko Rice Mill?  I'm dying to go to Cypremort Point!  I've never been to Jeanerette or Loreauville! The docks at Delcambre are cool to see!  There is so much to see and do.  This is why after we attended the literary festival last year, we have made at least four more trips to the area since then, and I still haven't seen and done everything there is to do.

Guess that means I'll keep on coming back to Iberia Parish!

If you go:
Here is the Schedule of Events
My trip report from last year, Part 1 and Part 2

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