Our 15th Annual Lagniappe Dulcimer Fête is history. The weather was rainy, damp and humid. It didn’t dampen the spirits of the dulcimer players — the workshops and concerts, food and vendors were great. Kudo to the fête planners. Here are some of the highlights in photos. We started the festival with a Mardi Gras Extravaganza and picked a new queen and king by secret ballot.
The weather forecast was for torrential rain and high winds but the show went on as planned. Luck was with us and we only had a few downpours with mostly damp and humid weather. Here’s the rain from inside the barn where workshops were held.The festival featured 58 music workshops. It is helpful for festival planners to know attendance at workshops for future planning. Bruce Broussard had the job of gong to each workshop–often in the rain on a bicycle–and counting class attendance.We added a Thursday afternoon workshop for non-dulcimer players–to sew and quilt a River Rat dulcimer pick-holder. The river rat strummer design (also used on the T-shirts) is original art work drawn by Maylee Samuels. Jean O’Grady and friend transcribed and embroidered the fabric squares for the pick-holders.Here’s a completed pickholder that Barbara Brumfield fashioned.Jim Miller taught a dulcimer an all-instrument orchestra Thursday afternoon. The group performed “Home Sweet Home” for fête goers Friday afternoon. It was a beautiful arrangement.A special activity Thursday was a photo shoot with club members each wearing a T-shirt from each one of the past years. Here Charlie LeBlanc wears the T-shirt from our first fete 15 years ago and Peggy Broussard wears this year’s shirt. Willie holds a quilt of fête T-shirts which he won in a raffle one year.We had a nice variety of vendors this year — Folkcraft Instruments/dulcimers and Richard Ash from Indiana came as did Gladys Miller and Fret Knot Dulcimers from Sieper, Louisiana, with McSpadden Dulcimers. Terry McCafferty was back after taking a break for several years with his own dulcimers. Here Peggy Broussard tries out McCafferty’s dulcimers. Are you going to get a new dulcimer, Peggy? Tempting.We had several craft vendors, too. Queen Denise Guillory shows off her pottery.Club member, Mary Malone, crafted hand-beaded jewelry.We tried a new vendor for catering meals. Tasty cajun po-boys, salads and pasta, jambalaya, fried fish. Yum. It takes many volunteers to make the festival successful. Club members dish out the meals.Jean O’Grady is always a willing helper.
There was lots of jammng and some folks registered for the jams only. Play until you can play no more!And more jamming.Several of our own Lagniappe Dulcimer groups performed at the concerts. Here is the La Petit Dulcimer group. I counted 58 workshops during the three days for mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, fiddle, ukulele, autoharp, penny whistle, rhythm instruments and voice. Here Mike and Carolyn White wait for a workshop to begin. Many of the classes were held at the West Baton Rouge Historical Society Museum. An added benefit is getting to see all the museum’s interesting exhibits.Hey, let’s get going!Butch Ross was a new instructor — from Chattanooga, Tennessee. A talented performer–I loved his effects pedals and loops which he used at his concert.Ukuleles meets the hammered dulcimer taught by Guy and Sharrie George was a popular and fun class. Here they show us what they learned.And the Ukes…And the shape note singing class performed….We had concerts Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. More about the Thursday concert in another post. Here Sue Carpenter waits for the door prize drawing to finish so she can play. By the way, Sue is the 2005 National Mountain Dulcimer Champion at Winfield, Kansas.I love Sue’s fingerpicking style and singing. Worth the wait, Sue.We had 15 raffle prizes. Exactly 15 prizes. Jan Delgehausen assembled the basket of hand-crafted items and Cajun foods donated by the Thursday dulcimer group.And the raffle drawing was after the Saturday night concert. Denise Odum, Larie Chaney and Marie Varnes conduct the drawing.At Saturday’s concert, dulcimer instructors and friends joined in for one final song, “Soldier’s Joy”, as a tribute to Jerry Wright of Texas–a huge loss in the world of old-time string music–and husband and father of a very talented family. We will miss him!And another photo of the final songt.Festival organizers, Regina Payne and Denise Odum say thanks to everyone who came and supported our festival this year.On the way out leaving the fête Saturday night, there sat Joyce Bedell with the most lovely smile. And wearing a fete T-shirt from this year. Joyce seems to beckon us to come again!See you next year–rain or shine!