Even when it’s hot, Louisiana culture is cool

Published 7:00 am Sunday, February 5, 2023

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Eunice, LA….  Learning to play Louisiana’s Cajun and Creole music is at the heart of the 20th Dewey Balfa Cajun & Creole Heritage Week from March 20-26, 2023, in Eunice, Louisiana.  From beginner to advanced levels, adult learners can advance their knowledge and skills in Louisiana-style Cajun/Zydeco guitar, fiddle, accordion, rhythm/percussion, French-language vocals, dance, food preparation, and folklife culture.

The Music Camp registration options range from five-day to one-day experiences.  Evening Barn Dances are open to the public for a small donation. The registration form, class schedule, band lineup, sponsor opportunities, and lodging information are found at LAfolkroots.org.

What is Balfa Week?  Hosted since 2001 by Louisiana Folk Roots, a non-profit 501C3 organization, Balfa Week offers an immersion experience centered around a Louisiana folk music camp and folklife sessions in a nature-based setting.  Louisiana-style meals are included with Full-time or Part-time camp registrations, topped off with music jam camaraderie and hospitality. The 2023 activities wrap-up with the Eunice community’s 36th Annual World Championship Crawfish Etouffee Cook-off on March 26.

Who are the music instructors and bands?   Music Camp instructors for 2023 include Trey Boudreaux, Paul “Bird” Edwards, Gina Forsyth, David Greely, Chas Justus, Jesse Lege, Wayne Singleton, Jane Vidrine, Cedric Watson, and more.  The dance band lineup includes Blake Miller & Old Fashioned Aces, Wayne Singleton & Same Ole’ Two-step, Balfa Toujours, and the All-Star Alumni & Guests Band for “Camp Karaoke” night.

Where is Balfa Camp?  The classes, workshops, dances, and meals occur on the campus of Lakeview RV Park & Campground iin Eunice.  Lodging on campus includes private or shared cabin options, RV or tent options, and nearby housing alternatives.  Optional local excursions, hiking, kayaking, and community-based activities will be available.

Highlights for Balfa Week include:

  • Cultural immersion focused on Cajun & Creole music heritage and folklife;
  • Intensive classes for music instruments, band labs, vocals, and dance,
  • Lagniappe workshops, cooking, and folklife demonstrations;
  • Nightly Dances featuring popular Cajun and Creole bands;
  • Daily Jam des Amis music sessions;
  • Delicious Louisiana food and beverages;
  • Local culture and heritage excursions;
  • Community Festival & Crawfish Cookoff participation;
  • And more!

Merci beaucoup!  Louisiana Folk Roots, Inc., is a non-profit 501C3 organization with  support for Balfa Week provided in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, Louisiana Division of the Arts, Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission, Acadiana Center for the Arts, Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission, Al Berard Music Fund, and Friends of Louisiana Folk Roots.

Email BalfaWeek@gmail.com or visit lafolkroots.org for more information.