Nouvelles De Villes
New Restaurant, Piano Bar, Dancing and Big Eggs
Dark for 12 years, one of the oldest buildings in downtown Abbeville was recently renovated and has reopened as Midway on the Square (midwayitaliansteaks.com) featuring upscale Italian fare (recommended: crawfish cannelloni, grilled duck breast with portabella demi-cream). Gabe Broussard, the owner’s blues-singing teenage son, had Miley Cyrus and Blake Shelton fighting over him to be his coach last year on NBC’s “The Voice” (he chose Blake) and he appears occasionally to perform at Midway, which overlooks picturesque Magdalen Square (the setting for October-December holiday events). A first for Abbeville is Kevin’s Piano Bar (kevinsbar.com), which opened with a grand piano, outdoor tables, an antique mahogany bar and is located near the A. Hays Town courthouse featuring live bands weekends and bar bites like muffulettas and coconut cake. Oct. 12-15 brings the Cattle Festival’s Fais-Do-Do and a street fair right in front of the historic courthouse, a trail ride and barn dance, a children’s parade and local bands (cattlefestival.org). Top chefs from Canada, France, New Caledonia, Belgium, Argentina, Belgium and Louisiana meet in Abbeville and lead a big Sunday procession through town, and end up at a 12-foot cast iron pan where they’ll crack 5,033 eggs, melt 52 pounds of butter and cook a giant crawfish omelette and a smaller children’s omelette (free to the public with Poupart’s French bread) with a Cajun band and dancing to celebrate Abbeville’s French heritage during the international Giant Omelette Celebration Nov.4-5 that includes a tour of homes, antiques, art and foods show, Kids World and the Tabasco Girl’s dance team (giantomelette.org).
Smell that Roux
In the cool autumn air, you can smell the tantalizing aroma of dark roux simmering with the trinity in giant cast iron pots as you enter downtown New Iberia and head to Main Street for the World Championship Gumbo Cook-Off Oct. 14-15 featuring 100 teams competing (professional and amateur, each cook must make a minimum of 60 quarts for visitors to sample) and a youth cook-off (facebook.com/gumbocookoff).
Camping, Jamming, Flying
Head to the Ponderosa in the wetlands of Terrebonne parish (5403 West Park, Houma) for the Voice of the Wetlands Festival Oct. 13-15. Stay and camp with a tent or RV to enjoy the late-night jam sessions after the main stage closes (campers need to sign up). Music kicks off Friday night with Johnny Vidacovich, George Porter and Brian Stoltz, followed by Tab Benoit and more for the Guitar Fights jam session until the wee hours. Children can enjoy the small animal zoo in the kid’s area (voiceofthewetlands.org). Popular with festivalgoers is flying over the bayous and swamps with Hammonds Air Service (tip: they tell great stories; 985-876-0584).
Investors Looking for Ideas
Innov8 Acadiana has opened applications for a new business commercialization accelerator program, Accelerate Acadiana, and is seeking applicants from companies of all sizes looking to expand. Aspiring business owners will meet over 200 investors motivated to partner with founders, short and long term. There’s office space and ongoing business training at the Opportunity Machine, one of Louisiana’s most successful incubators (read more about it on page 62), and industry connections to executives of mega companies and events like social mixers, where angel investors meet people with ideas (innov8acadiana.org).
From Russia with Love
The Moscow Ballet celebrates 25 years performing the Great Russian Nutcracker and they arrive Nov. 10 for a performance at the Lake Charles Civic Center, featuring larger than life puppets, dolls and gorgeous costumes. (tickets: 800-745-3000)
Cool Music Link
Newly compiled by British researcher Nick Leigh, there’s a downloadable discography of Cajun recordings made between 1946-1989 (bluesandrhythm.co.uk/Cajun-records).