Advocate staff report
October 15, 2012
The banks of Bayou Francois in Gonzales will be lined with art and music Saturday and Sunday at the annual Awesome Arts on the Bayou Festival.
River Region Art Association’s two-day festival, which will held each day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., will include music, 80 booths with original and hand-made arts and crafts, children’s activities, food and an art exhibit.
The festival booths and activities will also be in Jambalaya Park and city hall.
“Nestled between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Gonzales is a culturally rich, family-friendly city,” Mayor and honorary festival chairman Barney Arceneaux said. “The Awesome Arts on the Bayou Festival is a celebration of our culture with great food, entertainment and original artwork. I invite people to bring their families and enjoy our hospitality.”
The weekend band lineup includes performances from the Hot Pepper Band, Bluegrass music from the Jemini Venture Band, and Americana and folk music from the Fugitive Poets.
As part of the festival, a scarecrow scavenger hunt is under way at 33 area businesses.
Festival organizers invite festivalgoers to try to find the scarecrows before the festival and find out if they won a prize during the event.
The colorful decorations are part of the River Region Art Association’s Scarecrows Swamp Gonzales Contest, said JoAnn Eiswirth, a spokeswoman for the association.
Thirty-three businesses have recruited employees, family members and school and civic groups to create life-sized scarecrows at their business sites. Themes range from scary brides to an out-of-the box creation.
Honorary scarecrow judge Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne was in town Monday visiting several of the scarecrows and joining in the scavenger hunt.
“This is a great way to bring people in these businesses so they can see what this area has to offer, and the scarecrows are just great,” Dardenne said.
During a stop at Alison’s World of Music, Dardenne banged on the drum head that topped the stores’ music-themed scarecrow. In addition to having a drum for a head, the scarecrow was playing a guitar.
Alison’s owners Alison and Brian Dubuc said folks have been stopping by to take part in the scarecrow scavenger hunt.
The Dubucs and other scarecrow builders will find out if they won during the opening ceremonies of the Awesome Arts on the Bayou Festival at 10 a.m. Saturday on the Jambalaya Park stage in Gonzales, 1015 E. Corner-view Road.
Residents are encouraged to join in the fun by taking part in a scarecrow scavenger hunt. Forms are available at participating businesses. The scavenger hunt prizes will be awarded at the closing of the festival on the Jambalaya Park stage at 5 p.m. on Oct. 14.
For a complete list of the business locations, go to http://www.artgumbo.org or email scarecrow contest chairwoman Kathy Bourgeois at email@example.com.
The festival is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered by the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge.