Imagine. It is late June 1971 in the Louisiana summer heat and an estimated 50,000 young people from across the country have descended on tiny McCrea, in Pointe Coupee Parish, for what was intended to be the next Woodstock. The crowds, however, were stopped by police outside of the festival grounds at Cypress Pointe Plantation and told that the Celebration of Life music festival may not happen.
Local officials and the festival producers were battling in court, and no one knew whether the show would go on. Most of the youths decided to stop their cars on the side of the road at the barricade and wait for the verdict.
They waited for three days in the sweltering heat. Many spent their days trying to find food, which was scarce, and using drugs, which were plentiful. Some sought relief in the cool waters of the Atchafalaya River, where four people drowned.
Eventually, a small handful of the promised bands did take the stage, but the festival was undoubtedly a failure.
The documentary film “McCrea 1971,” which will be shown at 5:30 p.m. May 22 at the Madisonville Library, looks at what the Celebration of Life music festival was like for the young people who attended.
“Louisiana During World War II” also will be screened, with an introduction by director Dr. William Robison. This film examines our state’s contributions to the Allied victory and how it affected state politics, economy and culture as well as race and gender issues.
Both historical documentaries were created by local filmmakers with ties to Southeastern Louisiana University. For more information about this program or to register, visit the library’s events calendar at www.sttammanylibrary.org.
Programming for May 15 to May 22 includes:
INTERVIEW SKILLS AND R é SUM é WRITING: Sandra Hughes will offer tips on résumé writing and preparing for an interview at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Madisonville Branch, 1123 Main St. For information, call (985) 845-4819.
SCRABBLE GAME NIGHTS: Teens and adults are invited to exercise their Scrabble skills at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Mandeville Branch, 844 Girod St., or 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Folsom Branch, 82393 Railroad Ave.. For information, call the Mandeville Branch at (985) 626-4293 or the Folsom Branch at (985) 796-9728.
LIT WITS BOOK CLUB: The club will discuss “No! I Don’t Want to Join a Book Club” by Virginia Ironside at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Abita Springs Branch, 71683 Levenson St. For information about the club, call branch manager Kay Redd at (985) 893-6285.
TEEN VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION: Returning teen volunteers who have volunteered in previous summer reading programs will be oriented at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Causeway Branch, 3457 U.S. 190, Mandeville, or at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Covington Branch, 310 W. 21st Ave. For information, call the Causeway Branch at (985) 626-9779 or the Covington Branch at (985) 893-6280.
DOGEARED READERS BOOK CLUB: The club will discuss “The Orphan Master’s Son” by Adam Johnson at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Covington Branch, 310 W. 21st Ave. For information about the club, call branch manager Sue Ryan at (985) 893-6280.
HISTORICAL DOCUMENTARY FILMS SCREENING: Two historical documentaries by local filmmakers, “Louisiana During World War II” and “McCrae 1971: The Story of Louisiana’s Forgotten Rock Festival,” will be screened at 5:30 p.m. May 22 at the Madisonville Branch, 1123 Main St. For information, call (985) 845-4819.