See a sprawling display of colorful camellias at the 7th Annual Camellia Gardens Open House at the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Complex headquarters in Lacombe Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The free event is presented in partnership with the Northshore Camellia Society and the Camellia Club of New Orleans.

Growing across the 110-acre property, historically known as “Bayou Gardens,” are more than 400 cultivars of camellias, plus a variety of other exotic plants, amidst a backdrop of native vegetation.

Camellia enthusiasts will give a presentation on the history of camellias. Also, Jim Campbell, president of the Northshore Camellia Club, will demonstrate grafting as well as other effective methods for rooting limbs on existing camellias for reproduction.

Visitors can walk the grounds on their own or attend one of the free guided walking tours starting on the hour. The tours will cover a brief history of the complex as well as the variety of camellias that can be found here.

Live camellia plants will also be for sale with a portion of the proceeds going to The Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges, the non-profit group that raises funds and enlists volunteers in support of refuge goals and programing.

The gardens are part of the Bayou Lacombe Center, the administrative headquarters for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Complex, 61389 La. 434, Lacombe.

For more information, call (985) 882-2025 or email

Rambling in Iberia

Registration is open for a Feb. 27 guided tour of Iberia Parish.

The 2016 Winter Ramble: Iberia Parish “Down Among the Sugar Cane” will feature stops at Bayou Teche Museum, New Iberia’s Main Street and Historic District, Leo Watermier’s two mid-19th century cottages, Olivier Plantation Store in Lydia, Enterprise Plantation and the Mrs. Ory Patout House in Patoutville and Albania Plantation in Jeanerette.

The Saturday tour will run 9:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m. and is presented by Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation in cooperation with New Iberia Main Street Program, Iberia Parish Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Iberia Preservation Alliance (a coalition of the Bayou Teche Museum, Iberia Cultural Resources Association and Shadows-on-the-Teche).

Registration is $75 payable online at or by mail to:

Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation, P.O. Box 1587, Baton Rouge, LA, 70821. Signup deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 23.

For more information, call (504) 256-0912 or email

‘Awkward’ in Shreveport

The Meadows Museum of Art at Centenary College will show “Awkward Family Photos — The Exhibition” through April 16.

The show of more than 100 classic awkward family photos and funny “behind the awkwardness” stories are from actual families. The exhibit was curated and designed by Mike Bender and Doug Chernack, creators of the viral website, which gets millions of hits daily., the website, was launched in 2009 when Bender saw an odd vacation photo in his parents’ house, a news release says. “Realizing there were probably plenty of other people with their own unusual family pictures, he set out with childhood friend Chernack to create a friendly place where people could share their own funny images. The site quickly took off and became an Internet sensation, receiving daily submissions from around the world,” the release says.

The museum is located at 2911 Centenary Blvd. in Shreveport. Free and open to the public, museum hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and Noon-4 p.m. Saturdays.

For more information or to schedule field trips, call (318) 869.5040 or visit

A festival of beers

Tickets are on sale for the 2016 Louisiana Winter Beer Festival happening Saturday, March 5, at the Historic Calcasieu Marine National Bank Building, 844 Ryan St., in downtown Lake Charles.

It’s the second year for the craft beer festival benefiting the Lake Charles Symphony. Organizers are expecting more than 100 Louisiana and American craft beers, meads and ciders for attendees to sample.

Patrons will also be able to meet the brewers from Louisiana and national breweries, sample local food offerings from area restaurants and food trucks, and enjoy local live music.

Tickets to the 1-5 p.m. event are $50 per person, which includes admission to the festival at 1 p.m., a commemorative tasting glass and unlimited samplings of the regular festival beer offerings. VIP tickets will also be available for $100 per person. The VIP ticket grants early admission to the festival at noon, an express VIP entry gate, access to exclusive beer selections, a special commemorative VIP tasting snifter, access to a VIP restroom; and a token for food from one of the festival food vendors. VIP tickets are limited.

Designated drivers will receive access to the festival, free water and soft drinks, and a commemorative tasting glass for $15.

Call (404) 822-5847 or visit

Louisiana Travels is a column about travel destinations and events in Louisiana. Email items to or