Brushstrokes of Resilience: 2023 Andouille Festival poster reflects community spirit

Published 1:21 pm Thursday, August 24, 2023

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LAPLACE — The official poster of the 48th annual Andouille Festival features Andouille sausages second-lining through a rainstorm of red beans and rice.

An official unveiling was held August 23 at the St. John the Baptist Parish Government complex in LaPlace.

It’s the third Andouille Festival poster hand-painted by local business owner Dana Bardell Wallace, whose artwork captured the essence of the beloved community tradition in 2016 and 2017. While all three posters have held a special meaning to Wallace, this one was particularly poignant because it represented a new beginning.

When the Andouille Festival returned in 2022 after an extended hiatus, the St. John Parish community was still largely recovering from the impacts of Hurricane Ida. Wallace picked up a paintbrush for the first time in five years to visually depict what it feels like to survive the storm.

“I always paint off of a feeling. We have all been through so much the past two years since Hurricane Ida, so my inspiration was how we feel right now,” Wallace said. “We want to be happy, enjoy living, and just have fun. It’s all about where we are coming from. It’s about being excited about life. We survived, and now we want to celebrate where we are and what we have.”

The poster celebrates local culinary culture with traditional Cajun and Creole food raining from the sky and stylized “Andouille Festival” text that pays tribute to the iconic Zatarain’s logo. Jazz musicians, Carnival rides and festival tents are embedded in the artwork, which proclaims St. John the Baptist Parish as the Andouille Capital of the World. Most of the piece is painted in fall colors, while the right edge features swirling pink breast cancer awareness ribbons.

A splash of pink has found its way into all of Wallace’s artwork since she lost her mother to cancer.

“I’m a big supporter of breast cancer (awareness). It’s always going to be part of anything I do in October,” she said.

Wallace started painting more than 35 years ago. She is well known in the St. John Parish community as the artist behind Tattoos by Dana.

St. John Parish President Jaclyn Hotard said Wallace is loved by many for her cheery, upbeat personality.

“You are an inspiration to our community, a beacon of light when there is darkness,” Hotard said. “Your positive, joyous spirit, despite everything you have gone through, is just amazing. You mean a lot to all of us in this room, evidenced by how many people are here.”

The official poster unveiling traditionally serves as the kick-off of the annual Andouille Festival. The 48th annual Andouille Festival promises a “smokin’ good time” October 20-22 at the Thomas F. Daley Memorial Park in LaPlace.

Among the excitement this year will be a new carnival ride vendor and lots of children’s activities. Contestants are currently being sought for the 50th annual Andouille Pageant, open to young women ages 13 to 23.

“We look forward to making the Andouille Festival even bigger and better than last year, which will be hard, considering we had a record year,” Hotard said.

During Wednesday’s Kick-off and Poster Reveal, St. John Parish Economic Development Director Michelle Jenkins Miller presented official posters to Hotard and representatives from Marathon Petroleum.

Marathon is the presenting sponsor of the Andouille Festival.

Iman Montgomery, corporate social responsibility representative for Marathon’s Garyville Refinery, shared what the Andouille Festival means to her.

“I’m born and raised right here in St. John Parish. My family is born and raised here. There is nowhere else in the world where people come together like right here in St. John Parish. No matter where I have been in this country, there is no food like we have here in St. John Parish,” she said. “Marathon’s Garyville Refinery will always be here to support this community and the Andouille Festival. We continue to see the growth not just in the Festival, but in St. John as a whole.”

Local businesses Fatty’s, Unikakes and Elite Affairs provided food and decorations for the kick-off event.

For more information about the Andouille Festival, visit