Destrehan Fall Festival set for Nov. 8-9

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 28, 2003

By LEONARD GRAY-Staff Reporter

DESTREHAN – The 32nd annual Destrehan Fall Festival is ready for Nov. 8-9 to again greet thousands of visitors, ready to start their Christmas shopping early with crafters and antique dealers and be entertained by dancers and musicians.

The festival, being operated 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, is the main source of income for the River Road Historical Society, toward the preservaton and interpretation of Destrehan Plantation, built in 1787.

The proceeds from the event go toward preservation of historic buildings, documents and other historical sites.

Robert said the latest acquisition, back in April, was the Caire House (dating from the 1830’s), and part of Edgard’s Caire Plantation. Also, work continues on the Jefferson Room, which will be a permanent home to a document appointing Jean Noel d’Estrehan to the governing body of Louisiana, personally signed by President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of State (and future president) James Monroe. That document, along with a copy of the Louisiana Purchase itself, will be housed in a special climate-controlled room of the plantation’s main house.

During the two-day festival, arts and crafts vendors will have handcrafted items for sale, including woodcrafts, jewelry, dolls, clothing, quilts and other items. The Cajun and Creole Food Tent will sell seafood cuisine, jambalaya, gumo, etouffee and other foods. The 1830’s Mule Barn, donated by Glendale Plantation in Lucy, will host the antique mall.

The entertainment stage, featuring local bands and dance groups, features the following schedule:

Saturday – Crescent City Cloggers at 10:30 a.m., Caldonians at 11 a.m., Dixie Cloggers at 11:30 a.m., Johanna’s Jazz-in-Motion at noon and Thin Red Line at 1 to 5 p.m.

Sunday – Louisiana Kids at 10:30 a.m., Debby Dillehay Dancers at 11 a.m., River Road Performance Society at 11:30 a.m., Yvonne’s Directions in Dance at noon, and Gumbo at 1 to 5 p.m.

The Folk-Life Village will present live demonstrations of plantation-era crafts, including open-hearth cooking, candle-making, indigo dyeing and blacksmithing.

Tours of the main house will be available for a minimal fee.

Admission to the festival is $5 for adults and free to children age 12 and under.