Plantation will show off new attractions during Family Day

Free horse rides, family games


June 02, 2011 at 2:49 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Visitors to Destrehan Plantation view art commemorating the 1811 Slave Revolt. The plantation is hosting Family Day this Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Along with getting a tour of the plantation and all of the exhibits on display, free horse and pony
Thelezia Folse/Herald-Guide
Visitors to Destrehan Plantation view art commemorating the 1811 Slave Revolt. The plantation is hosting Family Day this Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Along with getting a tour of the plantation and all of the exhibits on display, free horse and pony
For the first time ever, Destrehan Plantation will host Family Day, billed as a way for residents to take a look at all the plantation has to offer for a low price while participating in free horse rides, games and giveaways.

Admission to the event, which will be held this Saturday, is only $5 per adult, while children 17 and under are admitted free of charge as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

The event begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.


The plantation was recently named the Louisiana Attraction of the Year by the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association, and Destrehan Plantation Executive Director Nancy Robert said Family Day is an affordable way for people to see all of the new attractions offered.


“A lot of people have been to our festivals and crafts fairs but they don’t get to see all of the other activities we offer,” Robert said. “They can take a tour of the house and see our other attractions that have been added recently. We wanted to do it at the beginning of the summer so that families will keep us in mind when they are looking for a fun way to spend a day.”


Along with a tour of the plantation, the event includes a look at special exhibits such as information on the 1811 Slave Revolt, the Jefferson document room and the Herbert J. Harvey Jr. Legacy Room.


Several period craft demonstrations are scheduled during the day, including open hearth cooking, indigo dyeing, carpentry, African American herbal remedies and bousillage.

Local performer Faith Becnel will sing during the day as will a barbershop quartet. A DJ will also perform. Activities for children include free pony and horse rides and a free space walk.


“The community has done so much for us over the years that we paid for the horse and pony rides in order to give something back,” Robert said.


Family games, including ladder ball, horse shoes and croquet will also be set up on site. Door prizes will be given away, including gift certificates to the plantation’s store.


“We hope that families bring a lunch and sit and enjoy the day outdoors, but we will also have some food vendors available,” Robert said.


As an added attraction to the event, author and voice-over performer Gary Simms returns to Destrehan Plantation. Simms previously performed at this year’s Destrehan Plantation Heritage Day event in May.


He was joined on stage by Gospel singer Jackie Mayfield--an accomplished performer and Minister of Music who is a star of stars on the New Orleans Gospel Music scene. Simms was commissioned by Ellen McKnight, a local children’s author, and A Circle of Literary Friends to write a monologue that dramatically tells the story of the slave revolt that took place in the River Parishes just outside of New Orleans.


Destrehan Plantation is one of the few locations connected to the history of slavery and visitors are able to learn relevant facts about the life, times and contributions of the slaves that were on the plantation then.


Though families are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch, pastalaya, pizza, soft drinks and ice cream will be available for purchase. 


No alcoholic beverages are allowed.


The event, which is put on by the River Road Historical Society, is being supported by Shell Chemicals-Motiva and The Azby Fund.




View other articles written By Jonathan Menard

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