A December 2002 trip
to Louisiana by TRAVELPRO guide
Quote: Good times are rolling as Louisiana is celebrating the bicennential of the Louisiana Purchase (1803-2003). Activities continue through December 2003.
The state is celebrating the Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial in grand style with special events and festivals throughout the state.
* NEW ORLEANS (800/672-6124). This famous Crescent City hosts the grand finale: a re-enactment of the historic transfer of the territory from France to the U.S.on December 20.
"A Fusion of Nations, A Fusion of Cultures: Spain, France, the United States and the Louisiana Purchase" will bring together historic materials from the archives in Spain, France, the Netherlands and U.S.
The New Orleans Opera Association will premier "Louisiana Purchase" during the company’s 61st season and the 207th anniversary of opera in New Orleans.
"Jefferson’s America and Napoleon’s France" at the New Orleans Museum of Art, April 12 - August 31, features antiquities from Napoleon’s campaign and Lewis and Clark.
Louisiana is known for its diverse history, food, music, and ability to throw a party. We know because we’ve visited Louisiana many times and experienced their lively Cajun culture.
Cajun people are descendants of the French Acadians who left Canada in the mid 1700s and settled in southern Louisiana. Today’s Cajuns are a hard-working, fun-loving, devout people. They work and play with equal enthusiasm.
The Cajuns say, ""Let the good times roll," and they mean it! We’ve found plenty of good times—from bayou swamp cruises to Southern plantation tours. We enjoyed great food cooked with that "lovin" but not "hot "touch. There's a myth about Cajun and Creole food being loaded with pepper, but it's not true! We found Louisiana-style cooking is not extremely hot. Chef use cayenne and hot sauce, but only to season and enhance the flavor--never to burn the mouth.
We dined in white-tablecloth restaurants, such as Don’s Seafood and Steakhouse in Lafayette, where we enjoyed sophisticated seafood entrees and gumbos fit for royalty. We feasted on traditional Cajun-style boiled crawfish and then danced off pounds with the locals at Randol’s Restaurant and Cajun Dancehall in Lafayette. In Natchitotches, the oldest settlement in the Louisiana Purchase, we tasted their famous Creole meat pies, and we liked them so much that we got an old-time recipe for these tasty pastries.
* ALEXANDRIA (800/551-9546). "The Heart of Spain," a major bicentennial event, opens Sept 1 - Nov 30. Rare international exhibit, Alexandria Museum of Art. Objects from Spain’s greatest museums and world-renowned artists from the pre-Christian, Byzantine, Roman and Gothic eras.
*LAFAYETTE (800/346-1958). French art exhibition at the University Art Museum showcases 200 years of French painting
"Rodin: A Magnificent Obsession" features sculpture from the University of Louisiana Art Museum, September 20, 2003 - January 4, 2004
"Threads of History: Cotton and the Louisiana Purchase" opens at the Lafayette Natural History museum in December.
* BATON ROUGE (800/527-6843). "Josephine: Empress of the Americas" showcases memoirs, jewelry, objects d’art, rare paintings, and other items on loan from Napoleon’s summer home in France. Runs from October 2003 - June 2004 at the Louisiana Arts and Science Center.
* NATCHITOCHES (800-259-1714). Oldest settlement in the Louisiana Purchase host the summer Folk Festival and Festival of Lights.
* SHREVEPORT ( 800/551-8682). The city’s Sci-Port Discovery Centerl presents the exploration of the Louisiana territory with the IMAX film, "Lewis and Clark: Into the Great Unknown".