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Celebrating Mardi Gras in Cajun Country

Program Number: 11031RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/10/2013 - 2/15/2013; 2/11/2015 - 2/16/2015; 2/15/2015 - 2/20/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
Price starting at: $599.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Festivals, Misc. Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    

Mardi Gras traditions date back to medieval France. Local celebrations derive from the Acadians of French Canada who became the Cajuns of Louisiana. Share their richly distinctive heritage as you learn about and experience food, music, and dance. Delve into folklore and the unusual carnival tradition of the rural Courir de Mardi Gras. Sample authentic down home cooking including gumbo, boudin and more. Celebrate Mardi Gras from your head all the way down to your feet as it’s done only in Cajun Country!




Highlights

• See costumed parade riders fling throws and, on occasion, dance for a chicken!
• Mark the history and feel the rhythm of the fiddle and accordion as we learn about Cajun and Zydeco music with local musicians.
• Bring your dancing shoes and learn the Cajun Waltz and Two-Step.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to a mile a day. Standing required for parade watching.




Date Specific Information

2-10-2013, 2-11-2015, 2-15-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by University of Louisiana at Lafayette.




Lafayette

Two hours west-northwest of New Orleans, Lafayette is vibrant with Cajun and Creole culture. The city hosts a number of arts, music and food festivals dedicated to preserving the Louisiana Acadian spirit, celebrated in the upbeat tempos of Cajun music.



Accommodations
Comfortable hotel with fitness center and outdoor pool. Complimentary airport shuttle service.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Acadiana
  Lafayette, LA 5 nights
 Hotel Acadiana
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: In the heart of Cajun Country. Just minutes from UL Lafayette, Vermilionville, and other tourist attractions. Approximately 3.0 miles from airport.
  Contact info: 1801 W. Pinhook Rd.
Lafayette, LA 70508 USA
phone: 337-233-8120
web: www.thehotelacadiana.com
  Room amenities: Complimentary high speed internet, 32" flat panel television,mini-fridge, coffee station, blow dryer, iron & ironing board. Microwave available upon request.
  Facility amenities: Seasonal outdoor pool, fitness room. Complimentary laundry facilities, 24 hour business center.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $65 Arrangements must be made directly with the hotel. (337) 769-9408
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $65 Arrangements must be made directly with the hotel. (337) 769-9408
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:30 PM in the hotel meeting room for a welcome and orientation. You will be staying at Hotel Acadiana that night.
  End of Program:
You may leave before or after breakfast on the last day. Breakfast is served from 6:00 - 9:00 am. You will be staying at Hotel Acadiana the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Completed health form returned to Program Coordinator prior to arrival. Valid photo ID such as driver's license.
  Parking availability:
Free parking at the hotel for the duration of your stay.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Lafayette, LA
  Nearest highway: I-10 and I-49
  Nearest airport:  Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT) featuring service with Delta, American, and Continental Airlines
  From End of Program
  Location: Lafayette, LA
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Lafayette

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
City/Dixie Cab
phone: 337-237-3333

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approximately $10.00
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

approximately 5 miles

   

Taxi ride is at your own expense. Other cab companies include: Quality Cab Service: 337-235-8993 The hotel shuttle might be available, but airport transport gets first priority. Call the hotel to ask if shuttle is available at (337) 233-8120.

 

Lafayette

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
phone: 337-233-8120
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

No charge
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

approximately 5 miles

   

Please put expected arrival time on the form which you will receive as a part of your preparatory materials. This information will be forwarded to the hotel. Check with the hotel a day or two before your arrival to make sure the shuttle is available.

 

Lafayette

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
phone: 337-233-8120
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

No charge
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

approximately 3 miles

   

The Hotel Acadiana has airport transportation available. Please call a day or two in advance to make sure the shuttle is available at the time you need it (as well as including the request on form included with preparatory materials).

 
Driving Directions
  I-10 traveling from east (Baton Rouge, LA) or west (Houston, TX) Driving in on I-10 west or I-10 east, take exit 103A onto Evangeline Thruway. Travel 3 miles, and turn right onto East Pinhook Road. Travel 1.9 miles to destination. Our hotel will be on the left.
  From the airport If you've rented a car at Lafayette Regional Airport, you will exit the airport parking lot, turning left onto Blue Blvd., then left onto Surrey Street. Get in the left lane so you can turn left onto Hwy. 90 (aka Evangeline Thruway). Once on Evangeline Thruway, get in the far right lane, and travel about half a mile, turning right onto Kaliste Saloom Road. Drive 1.2 miles down Kaliste Saloom, turn right on Pinhook. The Hotel Acadiana will be about 3/10 of a mile on the right at 1801 W. Pinhook Rd.
  I-49 traveling from north If you're coming in from north of Lafayette on I-49, I-49 becomes the Evangeline Thruway once you are south of I-10. Stay on the Evangeline Thruway, about 3 miles, and turn right on Pinhook Road. Travel 1.9 miles down Pinhook, and the Hotel Acadiana will be on the left, a little past the Bayou Vermilion bridge.
  US 90 from the south If you are traveling from the south on US 90 (which is the future I-49 corridor), Hwy. 90 becomes Evangeline Thruway. Turn left on Kaliste Saloom Road. Drive about 1.2 miles down Kaliste Saloom and turn right on Pinhook Road. Hotel Acadiana is about 3/10 of a mile on the right at 1801 W. Pinhook Rd.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival at hotel; welcome and orientation
(Sunday, February 10)
   
 Afternoon: Hotel Acadiana check-in time is 3:00. We will meet at 4:30, get acquainted, and review the weekly schedule. We will take time to answer your questions about the upcoming week, as well as teach you a few Cajun French words and Cajun English phrases to help you enjoy your stay in Cajun country. Try not to miss it! It's a great start to the program!
 Dinner: Our first dinner is often held at the hotel, but sometimes out at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Acadiana
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: "The Variety of the Cajun Country Mardi Gras"
(Monday, February 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast included.
 Morning: Field Trip: We'll travel to Eunice, to the Jean Lafitte Acadian Culture Center to hear UL Lafayette professor, Dr. Barry Ancelet. The topic: "The Variety of the Cajun Country Mardi Gras." His slides and stories and humor are very entertaining. He is the guru of all things Cajun.
 Lunch: Lunch in Eunice, TBA.
 Afternoon: Class: Documentary film called, "J'ai Été au Bal" (I Went to the Dance), about the history and evolution of Cajun and Zydeco music.
 Dinner: Local restaurant to be announced.
 Evening: Lafayette Queen's Parade - you've learned about the rural Mardi Gras, now experience the city Mardi Gras.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Acadiana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Courir de Mardi Gras in Tee Mamou!
(Tuesday, February 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast included.
 Morning: We'll travel to the an area of Cajun Country known as "Tee Mamou." (Not to be confused with Big Mamou!) We'll go to the home of a local family and share in their experience as we wait to see the costumed revelers chase chickens, climb trees, dance, and beg for ingredients or money for their communal gumbo. Then we'll head to downtown Iota for lunch from festival vendors and live music.
 Lunch: Your choice from festival vendors.
 Afternoon: J'ai Été au Bal - We'll watch a fascinating film about the history and evolution of Cajun & Zydeco music.
 Dinner: Dinner TBA.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Acadiana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Jean Lafitte; Vermilionville; Martin Accordions
(Wednesday, February 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast included.
 Morning: Field trip to Jean Lafitte Center to view a film on the deportation of the Acadians, followed by field trip to Vermilionville to take a guided tour of the village.
 Lunch: Lunch at La Cuisine de Maman (Mama's Kitchen), Vermilionville's on-site café.
 Afternoon: Vermilionville trip will take us into the early afternoon.
 Dinner: Deano's - Pizza with a south Louisiana twist!
 Evening: Field trip to Martin Accordions where we'll be treated to a jam session with the Martin Family band, as well as being informed about their handcrafted accordions which are made-to-order and shipped internationally.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Acadiana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Cajun Dance Lessons; Dinner & Dancing at Pont Breaux's Cajun Restaurant (formerly Mulate's)
(Thursday, February 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast included.
 Morning: Class - A Personal Cajun History. Learn the true story of the Acadians from a local fiddler who traced his family's history from France to Acadie, back to France, and then to Louisiana.
 Lunch: Local restaurant TBA
 Afternoon: Take a driving tour of downtown Lafayette, the university, and a stop to see a 500 year old oak on the grounds of a beautiful cathedral. Later in the afternoon, learn the Cajun Waltz and the Cajun Two Step from a local couple.
 Dinner: Dinner included.
 Evening: After graduation at the hotel, we'll go out for dinner & dancing at Pont Breaux's Cajun Restaurant, a favorite Cajun restaurant and dance hall, featuring live Cajun music.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Acadiana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Departure after breakfast, which is served from 6:00 - 9:00 am.
(Friday, February 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast included.
 Morning: You are free to depart before or after breakfast. Check out of hotel. Have a safe trip home!
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Capitaine, Voyage Ton Flag: The Traditional Cajun Country Mardi Gras


Author: Barry Jean Ancelet


Description: The traditions of the rural Cajun Mardi Gras.



Cajun Country


Author: Barry Ancelet, Glen Pitre, Jay Edwards


Description: An insightful study of the people of south Louisiana. It examines their traditional culture and its impact on modern ways.



Cajun Music: Its Origins and Development


Author: Barry Jean Ancelet


Description: Author Barry Ancelet examines the multicultural and multiracial origins of Cajun music, the major figures in the music's development and the circumstances which caused these diverse musical strains to fuse into the the culture's present musical repertoire. Ancelet also traces the evolution of the traditional French ballads that the Acadian settlers took with them to Canada and the songs that the Acadians sang during their years of exile, as well as describes the new musical influences that were encountered in Louisiana.





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