Black Bear Festival will be April 19-21
The 10th Annual Bayou Teche Black Bear Festival is set for April 19-21 in downtown Franklin.
The focus of the festival is educating the public about the Louisiana black bear, a species listed as “threatened” by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with all the components of a traditional south Louisiana festival: great music and food, arts and crafts and educational activities for both adults and children.
Traditional events, like the Running of the Bears 5-K Run/Walk sponsored by the Teche Action Clinic and boat trips into the Bayou Teche, will take place Saturday, April 20. Registration for the Running of the Bears 5-K Run/Walk will be from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. at the St. Mary Parish Courthouse, and boat trips will begin at 8:30 a.m. and continue every 90 minutes. Boarding will be at the rear of the Blevins Building on the corner of Willow Street and Teche Drive.
Other events will include arts and crafts booths, food booths, Fun Zone, Cub Club Arena, Bear-y Patch Educational Area, Black Bear Obstacle Course, Motorcycle Show, Teddy Bear and Friends Repair Clinic, Cajun Horseshoes, crowning of the queen, Bear Raffle drawing, B.E.A.R.S. Bayouland Emergency Amateur Radio Service and Running of the Ducks.
A fireworks show will take place on the Bayou Teche, behind the Blevins Building, on Saturday at 8 p.m.
The Fourth Annual Bayou Teche Wooden Boat Show will also take place in conjunction with the festival. A collection of antique and newly built watercraft will be on display, all constructed of wood. The show will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday and conclude at 6 p.m. on Sunday.
There will be a great line-up of live entertainment. On Friday Flashback will perform from 6-8 p.m. and Sideshow from 8:30-10:30 p.m. On Saturday, Cross 180 with guest appearances by Christy Bonvillain, Crystal Bell and Jacob Malloy will kick off the live entertainment for the day from 10 a.m. to noon. The 5 O’clock Shadeaux Band will follow from noon to 2 p.m.; followed by TK, Steve Adams and Smoke from 3-5 p.m., Crossroads Band from 5:45 to 7:45 p.m. and Jamie Bergeron and Kickin’ Cajuns will conclude Saturday’s line up from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. For Sunday gospel music will begin at noon, followed by performances by 55 December from 1:30-3:30 p.m. and from 4-6 p.m. Warren Storm, Willie Tee and Cypress.
There will be a Miss Bayou Teche Black Bear Festival Pageant on April 6, at Franklin High School in at 7 p.m. The festival is now taking applications for the pageant due April 1. Festival royalty will be crowned on April 20, at the music stage on Teche Drive at 5 p.m. Visit the festival’s website to print out an entry form at www.bayoutechebearfest.org.
Sponsors for this year’s festival include the Cajun Coast Visitors & Convention Bureau, St. Mary Parish Government, L-H Printing & Office Supplies, Louisiana Travel, City of Franklin, Best Western Forest Inn, St. Mary Parish Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Donna Tesi, Teche Federal Bank, Cabot, Franklin Foundation Hospital, and Louisiana Wetlands LLC.