Despite the Pandemic and Hurricane Delta we are still a go to do a COVID modified event! There will be a Paddle Parade with Eventbrite registration til midnight on the 14th. If you miss the Eventbrite registration, you can register at Poches on the bank at 9 am for $12. All registrations are for the paddle and include an event pin valued at $5. If you would like to join us at Parc des Ponts to welcome in the paddlers, it is free to attend. Try to make it by 11:30 and please wear a mask. We encourage you to buy our event pin to support the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail. We will be serving lunch, playing zydeco music on a PA system, and selling merchandise. At 1 pm, we will raffle off a $200 gift certificate to Pack and Paddle. The are more details about the event (shuttle service, boat rentals, etc) on our Event Page, so have a look and come join us on the 17th!
The TECHE Project, Iberia Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Village of Loreauville will unveil the information kiosk for Loreauville and the Bayou Teche National Water Trail at a special 1 p.m. public ceremony on Tuesday, January 28, at the Loreauville trailhead, 119 Bridge St., Loreauville, La.
Information kiosks will be placed at each of the 16 trailheads along Bayou Teche, the Lower Atchafalaya and Atchafalaya rivers from Port Barre to Berwick. These kiosks will orient water and land trail users to the Bayou Teche and the Lower Atchafalaya and Atchafalaya rivers and present special stories of the 16 trail communities.
This event will also recognize the financial support provided by the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area and the Atchafalaya Trace Commission through the awarding of a $46,000 grant to supplement the sponsorships already provided by families, local governments and businesses for the information kiosks.
In 2015, The TECHE Project received the exceptional designation of “National Water Trail” from the U.S. Department of the Interior National Parks Service program. This recognition is one of 21 such designations in the United States and the only one in Louisiana.
The Iberia Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau is currently the primary sponsor for the Loreauville Bayou Teche information kiosk, and the Village of Loreauville, along with all water users, will maintain the floating dock and the kiosk.
Installing the floating docks with federal and state funding and the information kiosks with local sponsorships in the 16 bayou and river towns is a major part of The TECHE Project’s “TECHE Renaissance” initiative comprised of programs to increase the recreational use of the waterways and to enrich boaters’ enjoyment.
“This is the eighth of 16 kiosks to be installed on the 135-mile water trail,” says Conni Castille, executive director of The TECHE Project. “It serves as a model for other water trail towns of what is coming to their community very soon.”
Each information kiosk measures 4 feet wide by 5 1/2 feet tall and holds two panels: an orientation panel and a community panel. The orientation panel depicts a waterway-long map, safety tips and an inset map of each trail town. The community panel presents stories about the locality, the waterway, wildlife and native plants and helpful advice for exploring Bayou Teche and the Atchafalaya corridor.
It is with much enthusiasm I, on the behalf of The TECHE Project, introduce you to your new Administrator, Erin Z. Bass. You will have the pleasure of meeting Erin in person at our Annual Membership Banquet in Breaux Bridge on January 25th 2020. But until then, here’s a little about her.
Erin is a native of Crowley and has lived in Lafayette for close to 20 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Louisiana State University and has spent the past 18 years working as a writer and editor. Her career experience spans from newspapers and magazines to marketing and public relations. Her newspaper experience includes The Times of Acadiana, Independent Weekly and The Current. She also serves on the board of directors for Festival International de Louisiana.
Erin is no stranger to the Bayou Teche. She got married along the bayou in Arnaudville and has family living along the bayou in New Iberia. She has covered the Teche through her work with Discover Iberia magazine and the Louisiana Tour Guide.
As Administrator of The TECHE Project, Erin will utilize her communication, marketing and public relations skills to handle membership, the Annual Report and Annual Banquet, in addition to day to day administrative duties. As the paddle trail infrastructure (floating docks, kiosks) continues to hit the water in each Trail Town, making the whole trail easier to access, we anticipate Erin’s background and expertise becoming a critical asset to promoting the trail to attract more paddlers.
Thanks again for your continued support of our National Water Trail. See you at the banquet where we celebrate you and your contribution to the Bayou Teche and Lower Atchafalaya River.
See you on the water,
Looks like weather is going to be FABULOUS!! Low 80’s, slight north wind and SUNNY! Perfect for Paddling the Teche! No bike ride, but everything else goes as planned. So, plan to come out to Parc des Ponts for a fun-filled day on beautiful Bayou Teche!!
The morning bike ride has been cancelled, so please do not come early for that aspect our our festival. The Paddle to the Party and the Fstival Main Event activities are on!! For the paddle, don’t forget that we have a shuttle leaving from the boat launch at 9 am for $5 cash. Drop off your boats and extra paddlers at Poches, go park at the festival and ride the bus back. It’s that easy!
The weather forecast is all over the place, but at this point, we are hopeful that everything will go as planned. If we have to, we’ll adjust the time of the paddle parade to avoid rain. Also, please know that we have a covered option for the festival under the courtyard and in the gymnasium at the St. Bernard School. SOOO, the party will go on rain or shine. Please know that your attendance and support in a rain event is all that more appreciated as this festival is our primary fundraiser, and our non-profit work to build the Bayou Teche National Paddle Trail depends on proceeds from this festival. Besides, we have great music (Stop the Clock, Steve Riley and Mamou Playboys and Horace Trahan and the Ossun Express), fun kids activities, 2 kayaks to raffle, cool exhibits, talks and artwork, and delicious food that you won’t want to miss. So, come Shake Your Trail Feathers with us no matter what the weather brings!!
Shake Trail Feather on October 19th is a festival where it is as much fun getting to the party as being there. Come join us on our pre-festival “Paddle to the Party”! The flotilla goes from Poche Bridge at 10 am and slowly travels 4.5 miles down the beautiful Bayou Teche to the festival grounds at Parc des Ponts de Pont Breaux, Breaux Bridge. The float trip will be accompanied by barge with live music (Adeline Miller and Friends of the Teche). You will arrive at the park around noon just as the main stage gets kicked off with music from Stop the Clock! This year, we will have a pre-float shuttle available for the cost of $5. To use the shuttle, you’ll need to drop off your boats and extra folks at Poches Country Club and drive to the festival to park on the road behind the cemetery. The shuttle will be waiting by the boat launch and will depart at 9 am. If you don’t use the shuttle, please make sure your party is at Poches by 9:30 for a safety briefing. The float trip is free, but we require that you bring life vests for all people riding and that you sign a liability waiver. Also, try to dress in feathers or a bird costume, so you can “Shake Your Trail Feathers” with us! If you want to paddle and do not have a boat, contact Cory Werk at Bayou Teche Experience for rental opportunities. For more information about the other festival happenings, please go to our Events tab above and look for Shake Your Trail Feather.
Geaux Paddle!! Have Fun, Be Safe, and we’ll see you at the Fest!!
Unveiling ceremonies for the Franklin and Patterson Kiosks took place on April 10th and April 12th! David Dahlquist with the TECHE Project has been working hard to install these beautiful informational kiosks along the bayou. To date, there are 4 kiosks installed in Port Barre, Breaux Bridge, Franklin and Patterson. Work on kiosks in Parks, St. Martinville, and Charenton is underway. Special thanks go out to all of the sponsors who have helped make this project a reality!
The TECHE Project was honored to have hosted boat tours for more than 60 ticketholders of the annual Books Along the Teche Literary Festival in New Iberia on Sunday, April 7, 2019. Tour participants came from Germany, many states around the country, and our local area.
As he has provided in previous years, Dane Thibodeaux, a TECHE Project Council member of Breaux Bridge narrated three 1 ½ hour tours with his knowledge and creativity about some of the local authentic sites which American author James Lee Burke highlights in his 22 novels featuring detective Dave Robicheaux.
The numbers of passengers for this year’s Festival boat tours tripled over that of previous years. The tours would not have been possible without the generous donation of time, boats and fuel provided by Captain Jude Desormeaux, Mike Parich Jr., and Craig Brodie. And high appreciation goes to the Festival volunteers who helped with all aspects of the Bayou Teche boat tour event.
March 15, 2019, New Iberia, LA – The TECHE Project awarded the first-place prize of $1,000 to a beckoning painting of the Bayou Teche created by Chis Willey in this week’s Shadows-on-the-Teche Plein Air Competition. Her painting features the Teche with natural and beautiful lighting and color affects. The award was presented at the standing-room-only Friday evening Awards Ceremony and Fine Art Sale held at the Shadows Visitor Center.
The fifth annual Shadows-on-the-Teche Plein Air Competition included nearly 30 artists selected among a record number of 73 applicants from 19 states. During the Plein Art week, artists paint on-site landscape and townscape scenes from around Iberia and surrounding parishes.
Jerome Weber, lead organizer for the week-long event, is clearly pleased, “Painting sales and awards for the artists during this event have totaled nearly $30,000. More importantly, the quality of the art and the enthusiasm of the artist for the richness of our region is growing each year. The artists genuinely want to return next year.”
The winning artist for the scene from the Bayou Teche, Chris (Christina) Willey, has an MFA in Illustration from Syracuse University and a BFA in Drawing/Painting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is a full-time painter and Professor Emeritus of Art from the University of Central Missouri, where she taught for 22 years. Willey has had numerous solo shows and conducted workshops in United States, France, and the Netherlands.
She has acquired signature status in the Missouri Valley Impressionist Society, MidAmerica Pastel Society, and the International Society of Acrylic Painters. She has won over 60 awards in many international, national and regional juried shows, including several Best of Show and Gold. She has been juried into Plein Air events around the country including Telluride, CO; Rockport, TX; and Mountain, Maryland. Her art is held in several private and corporate collections in the U.S., Netherlands, and France.
Visit her website at www.chriswilley.com.
The first-time $1,000 prize for the best painting of the Bayou Teche is presented by The TECHE Project with generous contributions by Margaret and Jeff Simon along with Mary Ubiñas-Dahlquist and David Dahlquist. The jurors for this painting category—Conni Castille, Paul Schexnayder, and David Dahlquist–reviewed over 20 paintings of the Teche in selecting the original work created by Chris Willey for first place.
The TECHE Project has partnered with the Shadows-on-the-Teche Plein Air Painting Competition to recognize the Bayou Teche as an amazing source of inspiration and scenery for highly accomplished painters from around the United States. The Plein Competition takes place March 9 through 15. Throughout competition week, artists paint throughout seven parishes in the Acadiana region that includes a variety of viewscapes and a special painting category for scenes of the Bayou Teche has been added for this year’s competition.
The TECHE Project; Margaret and Jeff Simon; and Mary Ubinas-Dahlquist and David Dahlquist will award a $1,000 first place award for the winning Bayou Teche painting.
The public awards ceremony and fine arts sale will occur Friday, March 15, 2019, 6:30PM at The Shadows Visitor Center, 320 E. Main Street, New Iberia, LA. The event is free and open to the public.
Check out www.shadowsontheteche.org/public-plein-air-events for more information.