A picture like this one of a peacock at the Rip Van Winkle Gardens in New Iberia could be a winner in the Iberia Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau 'Summer Daze' social media photo contest. 

The Iberia Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau wants to get in on your summer fun. So it has created the "Summer Daze" social media photo and video contest.

"In Louisiana, summer isn't just a season, it's a way of life. Memories are made on and off the water and we want you to capture those moments with photographs and videos," a news release says.

The contest runs through Aug. 30. To enter, like/follow the bureau and use the hashtag #OnlyIberia in photos or video taken around Iberia Parish posted on your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. A winner will be chosen based on originality and creativeness and will receive a secret grand prize to be announced closer to the contest end date, the release says.

Entries also are being sought for the Reel Louisiana video contest in which filmmakers show in 90 seconds or fewer the kind of magic Louisiana holds.

"Filmmakers may submit up to three videos showing the best experiences around the state that make Louisiana so unique, and possibly win a cash prize for their work," a news release says.

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and the Louisiana Office of Tourism have joined with Audience Awards on the project.

Through this partnership, the Louisiana Office of Tourism will be able to streamline the entry and judging process, allowing the office to use the entries for future marketing campaigns, the release says.

Submissions will be accepted through 1 p.m. July 31. Entries will be posted at There will be two separate voting periods. From Aug. 1-7, the public will select their favorite videos. From Aug. 8-14, an independent jury will vote for its top choices.

From there, the top 10 public-voted videos and top 10 jury-voted videos will move on to the final round of judging by a film industry panel of judges. The winning videos will be announced and screened at the Lieutenant Governor's Tourism Summit, Aug. 22-24, in New Orleans.

Winners will share $20,000 in prizes: first place will receive $8,000, second place $3,000, third place $2,000 and seven honorable mentions will receive $1,000 each. There is no cost to enter.

For more information on Reel Louisiana rules, video formats and how to submit your video, visit

All about bats

Fairview-Riverside State Park's interpretive ranger will give a presentation on bats at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 15.

Head to the park near Madisonville to learn amazing facts about these unique flying mammals, including why we need to protect them. Preserved bats in acrylic and by taxidermy will be on display, and, after the program, visitors will learn how to build a bat house.

Also this summer, Otis House Museum inside the park, along with nine other Northshore museums and historic sites, is putting a twist on traditional geocaching by challenging kids to seek out local history.

During a guided tour, youngsters can learn how Fairview-Riverside became a state park, what the site was originally used for and how it eventually was donated to the state to become what it is today. The museum is filled with unique artifacts dating from the mid 1800s thru the 1940s.

Activity sheets handed out at the end of the tour will test what the kids learned as they navigated the museum. Maps and contact information for the other museums and historic sites will also be available.

The park is located one mile east of Madisonville on La. 22 in St. Tammany Parish. The program is free with park admission of $3 per person ages 4-61; seniors ages 62 and older and children 3 and younger admitted free. For more info, call (985) 792-4652 or (888) 677-3247.

Marveling at moths

Allen Acres in Pitkin invites the public to observe moths and lots of other insects in nightly and early morning observation sessions to mark National Moth Week July 22-30 (

In the nightly sessions, lights are used to attract even more bugs.

Allen Acres, in Vernon Parish, is also conducting a bioblitz, in which staff and visitors will identify and record as many species of living organisms (moths, butterflies, birds, plants, frogs, etc.) as possible. Visitors are encouraged to take photographs. 

For more info/directions, email Dr. Charles Allen at or call (337) 328-2252. Allen Acres is located at 5070 La. 399 in Pitkin.

Panel display on slave trade

A panel version of the traveling exhibition "Purchased Lives: The American Slave Trade from 1808 to 1865" will be on display at Bayou Teche Museum in New Iberia from July 20 to Aug. 26.

"Purchased Lives" examines the period between America's 1808 abolition of the international slave trade and the end of the Civil War, during which an estimated 2 million people were forcibly moved among the nation's states and territories, a release says. 

The exhibit is presented by Entergy Corp. with additional support from the National Park Service, National Endowment for the Humanities and The Kabacoff Family Foundation.

The panel display will be on view during regular museum hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and on other days by appointment.

The portable panel display was curated and produced by The Historic New Orleans Collection. The display is made up of 10 panels, which will allow it to travel more widely than the version containing original artifacts.

For more info, contact Marcia Patout at (337) 606-5977, or visit and

BBQ in Morgan City 

The sixth annual Bayou BBQ Bash will take place Friday and Saturday, July 14-15, under the U.S. 90 bridge in downtown Morgan City.

The rain-or-shine event at the corner of Second and Greenwood streets, is a BCA Sanctioned State Championship BBQ Competition. In addition to the competitive teams, locals will also be cooking in a Corporate Cooking Team Throw-Down Challenge and a contest to name the top St. Mary Parish BBQ Team. The cost to enter is $165 for competitive and local teams and $250 for corporate teams.

Kids' barbecue competitions will be held Saturday. Children compete in two divisions: those 13-17 will cook chicken legs, and kids 12 years old and younger will cook pork chops. Entry fee is $20. 

An awards ceremony will take place at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

The event, organized by the St. Mary Chamber of Commerce, also includes live music, arts and crafts booths, food, soft drinks and beer. For more information, call (985) 384-3830.

Museum plans France trip

Members and friends of the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum in Lafayette will take a 10-day tour of Paris, Provence and the French Riviera from Sept. 19-28.

The trip will include a visit to Lafayette's sister city, Le Cannet, home of Le Musée Bonnard. Highlights include:

  • A stroll through the gardens that inspired Claude Monet at Giverny
  • Shopping at the lively Saturday market in Aix-en-Provence
  • Travel by ferry to the Island of St. Honorat for a wine tasting in the vineyards of the Monastery
  • A behind-the-scenes tour of Le Musée Bonnard and private reception with dignitaries from the City of Le Cannet
  • Gala dinners in Paris and Cannes to celebrate and conclude the vacation.

Tour cost per person based on double or twin accommodation is $4,285; single supplement is $1,285. For more info on to book a spot, call Lauren Fitts at (337) 482-1368 or email

Follow Judy Bergeron on Twitter, @judybergeronbr.