Train station spruced up _lowres

Photo by SHANE K. BERNARD -- New benches and planters are part of a recent improvement project at the train station in New Iberia.

New Iberia’s century-old train station got a little sprucing-up recently thanks to the efforts of local historian Shane K Bernard.

Bernard helped secure a $1,250 grant from the BNSF Railway Foundation to buy new benches, potted plants and trash receptacles. Volunteers installed the benches and planters. Amtrak will erect a new station sign and Amtrak kiosk, Bernard said.

Audubon Zoo shifts schedule

Audubon Zoo in New Orleans has tweaked its new elephant tours.

The tours are now available at 11:15 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays only, and are limited to seven guests, 6 years old and older. One adult must accompany each child under 10 years of age.

Groups with children under 17 must include an adult chaperone (21 or older). The program is scheduled to end in August. The behind-the-scenes experience takes place in the elephants’ home and may be subject to cancellation on short notice due to unforeseen circumstances. In the event of a cancellation, each ticket holder is entitled to reschedule or receive a refund.

Tickets for the Elephant Barn Tour are $65 per person for Audubon members and $75 per person for nonmembers, which includes same-day admission to Audubon Zoo. Visit

Full moon hike at Poverty Point

Visitors can join a ranger for a moon-lit night exploration of the ancient mounds of Poverty Point State Historic Site at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Along the hike on the park’s 2-mile tram road, the ranger will discuss the prehistoric mounds and culture of the site, nature and anything else that may be of interest to visitors. Visitors can also climb Mound A to star gaze and get a bird’s-eye view of the site at night. The hike will also offer storytelling and roasted marshmallows around a campfire. Flashlights, water, warm clothes and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

At Poverty Point, visitors can study a prehistoric culture dating back to 1600 B.C. The $4 admission includes access to the visitor’s center and museum, an orientation film and a seasonal tram tour. Children (12 and younger) and senior citizens (62 and older) are admitted free. Poverty Point State Historic Site is located on La. 577 near Epps, east of Monroe.

Call (888) 926-5492.

Rodeo winding down

The 2014 Mid-Winter Fair Rodeo runs through Sunday at the Blackham Coliseum in Lafayette. Today’s events begin at 2:30 p.m.

Billed as the “Greatest Show on Dirt,” the rodeo presents calf roping, bull riding, rodeo clowns and trick riding.

Tickets can be purchased at Ranch Outlet, Cal’s Western Store, Huval’s Boot & Shoe Repari, Boot Barn, Frey Outfitters and Cowboys Western Store. The box office at the coliseum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Call (337) 356-3859.

Louisiana Travels is a column about travel destinations and events in Louisiana. Email items for Louisiana Travels to or or mail to Judy Bergeron, News Features assistant editor, The Advocate, 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810.