PORT ALLEN — West Baton Rouge Museum officials hope to increase the visibility of Sunday’s SugarFest, the annual festival celebrating the sugar cane harvest.
This year’s observance marks SugarFest’s 16th anniversary.
The theme will be the early Civil War, and organizers aim to be as historically accurate as possible, said Jeannie Luckett, the museum’s education curator.
Civil War re-enactors, who will be encamped in locations on the property, are a new addition to the festival, she said.
While the event has been around for years, many parish residents are still unaware of it, said Linda Collins, an education program associate at the museum..
“We’re trying not to be such a secret,” Collins said with a laugh.
Visitors can see sugar cane processed the way it was in the late 19th century, she said.
A mule will power the cane grinder, providing juice samples available for visitors to taste. Some of the cane juice will be made into syrup, which also will be available to visitors.
The LSU Sugar Research Station in St. Gabriel will provide the sugar cane for the event.
The cakewalk is a must, Collins said. Other attractions include hayrides, Cajun dancing, a petting zoo and a blacksmith.
“There’s something for everyone,” Luckett said.
Appropriately for a sugarcane festival, the Fabulous Bagasse Boyz, whose music Luckett described as “bluegrass with a kick,” will play.
Performers such as Coobie Joe, Storyville Stompers and Overall will be among the 10 musical acts appearing on two stages.
A celebrity panel will judge the treats entered in a sweets contest; leftovers will be sold.
Organizers said they expect 1,200 people for the “Sweet 16” party which will run from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sunday.