More than 120 artists and crafts vendors from throughout the country will peddle their pottery, jewelry, ceramics and fleur de lis items at the 42nd annual Destrehan Plantation Fall Festival this weekend.
Tasty dishes such as cochon de lait poboys, fried boudin balls, homemade crab cakes, shrimp pasta, jambalaya and pastalaya will also be available.
The festival is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9 and Sunday, Nov. 10 and draws around 15,000 people each year, according to Nancy Robert, the executive director of Destrehan Plantation.
“It’s a well-rounded festival and we have kept the quality of the crafts up. We have good entertainment and we get rave reviews about our food,” Robert said. “We make it so that there is something for everybody. We have a lot of activities for kids and the arts and crafts are priced at various levels for every shopper.”
A past winner of Southeast Tourism’s Top 20 Events and the Louisiana Fairs and Festivals Classics Award, the fest has become a favorite for those who love Louisiana food, crafts and music.
For just $7 per person and no charge for children 12 and under, visitors can take a step back in time by touring the plantation and watching time period demonstrations, including open-hearth cooking, bousillage construction and indigo dyeing.
At the plantation’s Mule Barn, 12 antique vendors will sell furniture, jewelry and china. Arts and crafts located throughout the grounds include quilts, pottery, stained glass, jewelry, jams, jellies, pickles and infant and children’s clothing.
Louisiana ink artist Martin J Benoit will also be exhibiting his highly-detailed ink drawings. Martin has been preserving Louisiana culture in ink for 30 years.
The many activities for children include face painting, pony rides and Euro-bungy jumping.
Two top bands will highlight the entertainment offerings, including The Topcats on Saturday and LO2 (formerly Local Option 2) on Sunday. Both will perform from 12:30 p.m. until 4 p.m.
This year’s festival is dedicated to Robert. During her 16-year tenure as director, the plantation has gained a main office building, welcome and ticket center, historic hay barn, mule barn event facility, working detached kitchen, an overseer’s house museum, the Harvey Legacy Room, stage and pavilions, demonstration area and a river display and meeting room.
Robert said many of those improvements have taken place due to the money the plantation earns at the festival.
“If they’ve been in the past, they are able to see the improvements we’ve made by adding new buildings, exhibits and upgrading the site because of the festival,” she said.
Full tours of the plantation will also be available during the festival for a small fee.