Andouille Festival opens events for children, teens

Published 12:12 am Saturday, October 7, 2017

LAPLACE — Creative art projects, dance and choir performances and a talent show are among the family-friendly activities planned for the Kid’s Tent Oct. 13-15 at the 44th Annual Andouille Festival, located at 2900 U.S. 51 in LaPlace.

The Kid’s Tent is situated just outside the entrance to the St. John the Baptist Parish Community Center and has its own lineup of events, beginning at 8 p.m. Oct. 13 with music from DG LG LeMar Ellis as part of Teen Night.

Oct. 14 and 15 feature a full day’s schedule of activities. Canvas and face painting and a Home Depot sponsored craft workshop will be available to children from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. both days, as school choirs and dance teams perform on the Lil’ Smokies stage.

The children’s activities have been well received by the community in the past, according to Myra Valentine, grants administrator for St. John Parish government and coordinator of the Kid’s Tent.

“The art tent has been popular. We buy at least 300 canvases beforehand, and we usually end up having to get more on Sunday,” she said. “The dance teams and talent show also draw in a lot of people because families like to come support their kids.”

The John L. Ory Communication Arts Magnet School choir will sing at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 14, followed by performances from local dance schools, leading up to a non-competitive talent show beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Talent show participants have already completed the audition process, according to Valentine.

However, she said the public is invited to come out and watch River Parishes children showcase their talents, ranging from singing and dancing to renditions of poetry.

Child-friendly music performances by Miah and the Band and Dat Band are also scheduled for Oct. 14 and 15, respectively.

While the face painting and crafts tend to attract a younger crowd, Valentine said the Kid’s Tent also hosts events for older children and teens.

The Teen Nights scheduled for Oct. 13 and 14 include music geared toward a slightly older crowd. People of all ages are also invited to attend the talent show.

Valentine said the Kid’s Tent has been around for several years and has expanded over time to include more activities thanks to support from Entergy, River Parishes Regional Arts Council and Marathon.

St. John Parish public relations specialist Baileigh Rebowe Helm said pony rides, pig races and a petting zoo are also part of the Andouille Festival this year.

Families with children can also enjoy fair rides. “Pay one price” single day passes are available in advance for $25 and at the Festival for $30, according to Helm. A $50 weekend pass for rides can be purchased in advance and will be sold at the Festival for $75.

Passes can be purchased prior to the Andouille Festival at Matherne’s Supermarket in LaPlace, Greg’s Neighborhood Market in Reserve, Don’s Country Store in Reserve, Percy Hebert Building in LaPlace and the West Bank Courthouse in Edgard. For more information on the Andouille Festival children’s lineup, call the St. John Parish Office at 985-652-9569.

— By Brooke Robichaux