St. Mark Catholic Church’s annual Light Lane Festival kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday with food, music, rides and bingo.

Saturday’s lineup includes a car show, jambalaya mini-pot contest, games, rides, food and music. Freestyle plays at 1 p.m., Krossroadz performs at 5 p.m., and Kenny Cornett and Killin Time takes the stage at 8 p.m.

The kitchen and festival open at 11 a.m. Sunday. Kenny Fife and Bac Trac play at 1 p.m. and Na Na Sha performs at 7 p.m.

The festival is on the church grounds at La. 621 and Roddy Road.

Jambalaya Pageants

Registration is underway for the Gonzales Jambalaya Pageants, set for May 2-3 at the Gonzales Civic Center.

The Miss and Teen Gonzales Jambalaya crowns will be awarded May 2 and the children’s titles will be announced during a May 3 event, organizer Elise Tureau said.

April 25 is the deadline to enter the pageants.

Two king titles will be awarded for boys age up to 23 months old and seven titles will be given to girls up age 13 during the May 3 children’s pageant.

Entry forms are available at

For information, email or call (225) 938-8716.

Dan Gill to talk gardening

Do you have a list of gardening questions about tomatoes, containers, citrus and ornamentals?

Area residents will have a chance to get the answers needed when gardening expert Dan Gill, LSU professor of horticulture and author of regional gardening books, conducts a question and answer session on a wide range of gardening topics.

Gill’s Gardening Jackpot — Free Plants and Information program will be at 6:30 p.m. April 21 at the Ascension Parish Library in Gonzales.

The Ascension Parish Master Gardeners Association under the direction of the LSU AgCenter hosts the program, which also includes an old-fashioned plant swap.

Bring your plants, cuttings, bulbs or seeds to exchange with local gardeners.

For information or to register, call (225) 647-3955.

BRAC award nominees

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber is accepting applications from area educators for its BRAC Excellent STEM Educator Award program.

The organization will recognize five teachers who demonstrate science, technology, engineering and math excellence through teaching, creating connections to the workplace, and student engagement, a news release said.

BRAC will confer five awards to winning teachers at a May 12 ceremony in conjunction with its Signature Speaker event.

“Through the Excellent STEM Educator Award, BRAC seeks to recognize public school teachers who are demonstrating exemplary performance in teaching the STEM disciplines that are requisites for success in today’s knowledge-based economy,” said Tom Yura, chairman of BRAC’s Education and Workforce Council and senior vice president and general manager of BASF.

Public middle and high school teachers from the nine-parish Capital Region, including Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana, are encouraged to apply by 5 p.m. May 1.

Information is available at

Contact Darlene Denstorff by phone, (225) 336-6952, (225) 603-1996; fax, (225) 388-0371; email, or ddenstorff@the Deadline: noon Monday.