What began in 1995 as an event to celebrate the 200th anniversary of sugar-making in Louisiana has now become an annual event for the West Baton Rouge Museum, 845 N. Jefferson Ave., Port Allen.
The event is known as SugarFest!, and it will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, on the museum’s grounds. Admission is free.
SugarFest! is in its 17th year, and has been named a “Southeast Tourism Society Top Twenty Event” two years in a row.
The festival is a family event and features food, along with a sweets contest and an old-fashioned cake walk.
Watch as the mule grinds cane, the blacksmith hand-forges tools and cane juice is cooked down into cane syrup. Spinning, weaving and other 19th century crafts demonstrations will fill the grounds in the museum’s rural setting, along with open hearth cooking, woodcarving and bousillage-making.
Also, the Arbroth Plantation Mercantile Store will be open for the first time with the store’s original furnishings. Walk the grounds to pet farm animals and ride in an old fashioned hay wagon.
Food from local restaurants including jambalaya, lemonade, snow cones and cracklins, will be for sale. The West Baton Rouge Historical Association also will offer plantation fare dinners, cookies, cakes and candies. Tickets for the dinners are offered for sale prior to the event.
Festival-goers will be entertained by live music from the Fabulous Bagasse Boyz; the renowned brass band The Storyville Stompers from New Orleans; the Cane Grinders; spirituals performing artist Judy Whitney Davis; The Lagniappe Dulcimer Society; Coobie Joe; and Baton Rouge singer/songwriter Dorothy LeBlanc.
There also will be the performance film presentation of My 1863 Adventure, featuring National History Day Finalist James Linden Hogg with his dad, Jim Hogg. The presentation will feature live period music from the Civil War era, along with original pieces with use of vocals, fiddle, banjo and guitar, as well as images from James Linden’s film depicting the challenges of daily life in 1863.
For more information, call (225) 336-2422, ext. 15, or visit http://www.westbatonrougemuseum.com.
West Baton Rouge Museum