VILLE PLATTE — A statue of Evangeline will be unveiled Saturday in front of the Evangeline Parish Courthouse during the parish’s Centennial Celebration.
The parish took its name from the famous heroine in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie,” said Camille Fontenot, parish tourism director.
The statue and celebration are part of The Evangeline Project, an effort that began in 2005 when Suzy Lemoine, an at-large member of the parish’s tourism commission and project chair, became inspired by “Spirit of Evangeline,” a traveling exhibit she saw at the Acadian Memorial in St. Martinville.
The Evangeline Parish Centennial’s website says the statue will be a focal point for tourists traveling to the area in search of Evangeline and Evangeline products, the website says.
“We had to bring a statue of Evangeline to Evangeline Parish,” Lemoine said.
Officials will unveil the 6-foot statue at noon on the courthouse lawn during a day-long celebration that will include food, music and games, Fontenot said.
Former Gov. Edwin Edwards will also be on hand to sign copies of his book.
The event will also feature live music, a 3,000 gallon catch-and-release fish tank, face painting and more than 40 food, craft and merchandise vendors who will line Court Street, Fontenot said.
Descendants and representatives of each of the parish’s founding fathers, the parish’s oldest citizen and the oldest citizen of each of the parish’s municipalities will all be recognized, said Fontenot and Lemoine, whose grandfathers served as the parish’s first assessor and clerk of court, respectively.
“It’s going to be fun-filled,” Fontenot said.
Schedule of events
The Evangeline Parish Centennial will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday on and around the Evangeline Parish Courthouse lawn. The tentative schedule:
10 a.m.: Knight Train (swamp pop).
11 a.m.: James Dupre (country).
Noon: opening ceremonies, acknowledgment of founding fathers, recognition of parish’ oldest citizen and the oldest citizens from each parish municipality, unveiling of Evangeline statue and more.
1:30 p.m.: ET T-Mon, Edmond Bulliard, local mix and the Evangeline song.
2 p.m.: Jamie Berzas & The Cajun Tradition Band (Cajun/French).
3 p.m.: Open stage for politicians, descendants and authors.
4 p.m.: Jason Savoy & The Boogie Band (rock).