St. Agnes Le Thi Thanh Church in Marrero was recently the site of back-to-back weekend events bringing together the Vietnamese-American community.

First, there was the Pho Festival, which included various booths with plenty of delicious Vietnamese foods, drinks, gifts and musical performances. Pho is a Vietnamese beef or chicken soup. The festival is usually held twice a year.

The following week was a health day sponsored by West Jefferson Medical Center. Vendors offered free acupuncture and screening for peripheral arterial disease. There also were opportunities for testing of blood sugar, blood fat, blood pressure-glucose and cholesterol, and dental and vision screenings.

“I am very happy that we have a lot of people coming in,” said Viet Quynh Pham, of St. Agnes Le Thi Thanh Church. “We realize that a lot of people do have health problems, and we are very glad to be able to provide this health day for those people who never thought they would have problems.

“In one case today, we sent someone direct to the hospital because their glucose count was 397. I’m very happy we had the fair, because this could have saved a life today.”

The youths at Agnes Le Thi Thanh Church were a tremendous help translating for their elders.

“We are a part of a moment. We incorporate the gospel into our lives,” TSC Catholic youth Anthony Huynh said.

The motto is “Xem Xét Làm.” which means, “See, Judge, Act.” In other words, if you see a situation, you judge it; then you act on it.

Fort Jackson Museum and Triumph Welcome Center

Construction is underway for the Fort Jackson Museum and Triumph Welcome Center in Triumph, in the southern end of Plaquemines Parish. The building will hold artifacts from Fort Jackson and be a place for visitors to learn about Plaquemines Parish history.

The project is being designed by Sizeler, Thompson and Brown Architects, of New Orleans. The expected completion date is mid-September.

Triumph is the closest town to two national historic landmarks: Fort Jackson and, across the river, Fort St. Philip.

Fort Jackson is a decommissioned masonry fort constructed as a coastal defense for New Orleans between 1822 and 1832. Fort Jackson also was a battle site in the American Civil War.

Wednesdays on the Point

The midweek blues are eased by the free Wednesdays on the Point summer concerts at the Algiers ferry landing on the Westbank riverfront. The concerts begin at 5:30 p.m.

The lineup includes:

July 16: Honey Island Swamp Band, John Mooney and DJ El Camino.

July 23: The Soul Rebels, Tank, of Tank and The Bangas, and DJ Rik Ducci.

July 30: Bag of Donuts and DJ Rik Ducci

Aug. 6: Little Freddie King, Guitar Lightning Lee and DJ Rik Ducci.

Aug. 13: The Iguanas, Alex McMurray and DJ Rik Ducci.

Aug. 20: Mississippi Rail Company, Johnny Sansone with Colin Lake, and DJ Rik Ducci.

Aug. 27: Amanda Shaw, Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue, and DJ Rik Ducci.

Algiers-Canal Street ferry hours are being extended. On July 21, the pedestrian-only ferry will run from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.

First NBC Bank and Southern Eagle are the lead sponsors of the concerts. For more information, visit

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

A ranger at the Barataria Preserve of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve guides free wetlands walks Wednesdays through Sundays at 10 a.m.

The preserve is at 6588 Barataria Blvd. in Marrero (near Crown Point). For information, call (504) 689-3690, ext. 10, or visit

Special ranger talks will explore plantation life before the Civil War, why the Barataria swamps were a refuge for escaped slaves and New Orleans’ role in the journey from the Civil War to civil rights.

The free talks will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 19, and Saturday, Aug. 16, at the Barataria Preserve.

Yetoria Lumpkin DeShazier writes about the people and events in Algiers and the West Bank. Contact her at or call (504) 367-0905.