Lafayette Parish public school students will showcase their artistic talents in downtown Lafayette on Saturday at the Acadiana Center for the Arts’ fifth annual Student Arts Expo.

The free, full-day event will take place at various locations downtown and feature poetry readings, dance, theater, music and visual arts exhibits.

“The work is so beautiful. It blows our minds. The staff walks around and just cannot believe this is student work,” said Bree Sargent, education director at AcA.

The opening ceremony begins at noon with a performance by second-grade French immersion students from Evangeline Elementary, who will serenade the crowd with French songs in the AcA’s James D. Moncus Theater.

Throughout the day there will be performances by the Lafayette High School band at the AcA and the Acadiana High School band at Parc Sans Souci, as well as poetry performances at Carpe Diem! Gelato-Espresso Bar and theater performances at Theatre 810.

Students’ visual arts exhibits will be on display at several downtown locations, including Cité des Arts, Astra Modern Market, Borden’s Ice Cream Shoppe, Gallery 549, Genterie Supply Co. and the Jefferson Street Library.

A chalk walk will take place prior to the opening ceremony from 10 a.m. to noon in Parc Sans Souci, where select students will transfer previously planned drawings to the park sidewalk with chalk.

After the students complete their sidewalk art, the sidewalk will open to the public from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. for anyone else who wants to chalk the walk.

Paul Breaux Middle students will also be conducting a live public art project in Parc Sans Souci throughout the day, painting benches in the park using designs that have been approved by the Downtown Development Authority.

Visit acadianacenterforthe for a full schedule.