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Celebrating Mardi Gras in Cajun Country

Program Number: 11031RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/2/2014 - 3/7/2014; 2/11/2015 - 2/16/2015; 2/15/2015 - 2/20/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
Price starting at: $699.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Festivals, Misc. Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 13; 4 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

3-2-2014, 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
   Hilton Lafayette
  Lafayette, LA 5 nights
 Hilton Lafayette
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: In the heart of Cajun Country, set on the banks of the Vermilion River. Just minutes from UL Lafayette, Vermilionville, and other attractions. Approximately 3.0 miles from airport.
  Contact info: 1521 W. Pinhook Rd.
Lafayette, LA 70503 USA
phone: 800-445-8667
web: www.Lafayette.Hilton.com
  Room amenities: Complimentary high speed internet, 37" flat panel television, coffee station, blow dryer, iron & ironing board.
  Facility amenities: Seasonal outdoor pool, 24 hour fitness room, 24 hour business center.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $89 two double beds, $99 king Arrangements must be made directly with the hotel. Call the Hilton Lafayette directly and ask to speak to the reservationist, who is available Monday through Friday, 9 - 5 Central time, and the number is not toll free. 337 235-6111. Tell them you are with Road Scholar.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $89 two double beds, $99 king Arrangements must be made directly with the hotel. Call the Hilton Lafayette directly and ask to speak to the reservationist, who is available Monday through Friday, 9 - 5 Central time, and the number is not toll free. 337 235-6111. Tell them you are with Road Scholar.
  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 Hilton Lafayette that night.
  End of Program:
Breakfast is served from 6:30 - 10:00. Depart after breakfast. You will be staying at Hilton Lafayette 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: Lafayette is located at the intersection of Interstates 10 and 49.
  Nearest airport:  Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT) featuring service with American Eagle, Delta, and United Airlines.
  From End of Program
  Location: Lafayette, LA
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Lafayette

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
phone: 337-235-6111
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

No charge
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

approximately 3 miles

   

The Hilton has airport transportation available. Please include your flight arrival information on the Personal Information Form. Call the Hilton ahead of time at 337 235-6111 to arrange pickup. Should your flight be delayed or your schedule changed in some way, please call the hotel to notify them.

 

Lafayette

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
phone: 337-235-6111

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

no charge
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

approximately 3 miles

   

Please include expected arrival time on your Personal Information Form. Call for hotel shuttle (337) 235-6111. If arriving at an unexpected time and need taxi service, call City/Dixie Cab Service at 337-237-3333 or Quality Cab Service @ 337-235-8993. Cost approximately $10 at your expense.

 

Lafayette

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
phone: 337-235-6111

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

No charge
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

approximately 3 miles

   

Please put expected arrival time on the Personal Information Form. Call the Hilton at 337 235-6111 for shuttle service. Be prepared to use your own cell phone or may have to find a phone to use nearby. Amtrak does not have a phone at the station.

 
Driving Directions
  I-10 traveling from east (Baton Rouge, LA) or west (Houston, TX) From I-10: take the I49/Highway 90/SW Evangeline Thwy South exit. (Exit 103A) Head south for about 3.5 miles and turn right on Pinhook. Lafayette Hilton is 1.5 miles on your left. (1521 W. Pinhook Rd.)
  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. Cross US Highway 90 (US-90) at the light. Surrey Street becomes University Avenue. Cross under railraod overpass. Turn left on Pinhook Road. The Hilton hotel is about 1.5 miles down Pinhook Rd., on the left. (1521 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 (and Hwy 90) once you are south of I-10. Stay on the Evangeline Thruway, about 3.5 miles, and turn right on Pinhook Road. Travel 1.5 miles down Pinhook, and the Hilton will be on the left. (1521 W. Pinhook Rd.)
  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. The Hilton is about 1/2 a mile on the right at 1521 W. Pinhook Rd, past the bridge.
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, March 2)
   
 Afternoon: Hotel 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: Hilton Lafayette
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: "The Variety of the Cajun Country Mardi Gras"
(Monday, March 3)
   
 Breakfast: Daily breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Field Trip: We'll travel to Eunice, to the Jean Lafitte Acadian Culture Center to view the exhibits in the museum and to see a program presented by 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. This field trip will take us from morning through mid-afternoon.
 Lunch: Boxed lunch while at the Jean Lafitte Center.
 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: Hilton Lafayette
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Courir de Mardi Gras in Tee Mamou!
(Tuesday, March 4)
   
 Breakfast: Daily breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 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. Be prepared for an early morning departure!
 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 at hotel or local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Lafayette
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Jean Lafitte; Vermilionville; Martin Accordions
(Wednesday, March 5)
   
 Breakfast: Daily breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 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: Hilton Lafayette
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Cajun Dance Lessons; Dinner & Dancing at Pont Breaux's Cajun Restaurant (formerly Mulate's)
(Thursday, March 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 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: Dwyer's Cafe
 Afternoon: Swamp tour! (Weather dependent.) Later in the afternoon, learn the Cajun Waltz and the Cajun Two Step from a local couple.
 Dinner: Pont Breaux's Cajun Restaurant
 Evening: After Honorary Cajun certificates are bestowed 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: Hilton Lafayette
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Lafayette, LA Acadian Village
Museum of authentic Acadian homes. Located on the grounds of Acadian Village are eight authentic Acadian houses dating back to 1800. There is a recreation of a General Store that was the main gathering place for the community. Onsite is a replica of a Chapel, the floor of the Chapel was made with long leaf pine that is over 200 years old. The reproduction of the Blacksmith Shop was built with weather-beaten, aged cypress boards. The shop is complete with original tools used by the blacksmith years ago. Open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed for major holidays. For additional information, visit www.acadianvillage.org
  Lafayette Science Museum and Planetarium
The Museum exists to encourage the discovery and understanding of the natural world, the universe, and the role of humans within them. Hours of Operation Monday - Closed Tuesday thru Friday - 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday - 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday - 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission Charges Adults - $5.00 Seniors (65 or older) - $3.00 Children - $2.00 For additional information, visit www.lafayettesciencemuseum.org
  University Art Museum
The University Art Museum's Permanent Collection consists of more than 1,500 works of art, including paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, and photographs. This collection represents 18th, 19th and 20th century Louisiana, as well as the United States, Europe and Japan. Hours of operation: Tuesday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Friday - 9:00 to Noon Saturday - 10:00 - 5:00 Sunday and Monday - Closed. Ticket prices: Adult $5. Senior Citizens $4. For additional information, visit www.museum.louisiana.edu
  Zoo of Acadiana
Hours of operation are from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week, January to November. (Closed major holidays) Winter Hours: December Only 9:00 - 4:00 Safari of Lights: 5:00 - 9:00 *weather permitting* Admission cost: $9.25* for adults $8.25* for senior citizens 55 and older *plus tax. For additional information, visit www.zooofacadiana.org
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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