Festivities start Friday at Parc sur la Teche
You know what it means when the houseboats start pulling up behind the St. Mary Parish Courthouse: It’s Bayou Teche Black Bear Festival and Bayou Teche Wooden Boat Show time!
Both events start Friday evening at Parc sur la Teche, on Teche Drive in Franklin.
Music lineup for the weekend is: Friday, 6-8 p.m. Louisiana Jukebox; 8:30-11 p.m. Krossfyre; Saturday, 12 noon - 2 p.m. The 5 O’Clock Shadows, 3-5 p.m. Rick Lorenzo, 6 - 8 p.m. Low Down, 8:30-11 p.m., Waylon Thibodeaux, 8:30 p.m., followed by the fireworks show on the bayouside.
Vendors, a childrens’ bungee jump and rides area, and much more await on the festival grounds.
Live animals, bear skulls from around the world, children’s activities and refuge maps and information will be available on Saturday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. under the white U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service tent near the Willow Street Bayou Teche bridge. Be sure to bring the children to the “Beary Patch Game” kids activity located in the Willow Street parking structure near the bridge.
Refuge staff will host free pontoon boat tours of Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday. Tours are at 9-10:30 a.m., 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 1-2 p.m. and 3-4 p.m. Tour registration is required, held on a first-come, first-served basis, and will be located at the white U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tent near Willow Street near the Bayou Teche Bridge. Boat tour registration hours are: Friday, April 21 from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday, April 22 from 9 a.m. until full.
A free canoe tour of the refuge will be held Saturday a.m. from 9:30-11:30. Canoes are provided or bring your own canoe or kayak. To register for the Saturday morning canoe trip, call 985-860-6681.
The Bayou Teche Wooden Boat Show is held at the end of Teche Drive near Adams and Jackson Streets. Classic wooden vessels of all shapes and sizes will be on the shore and in the water. Organizers say Saturday is the best day to see the most boats.
The boat show continues through late morning Sunday; the bear festival wraps up Saturday night.