LAFAYETTE, LA – The community is invited to let the good times flow on Sunday, October 19 for the Bayou Vermilion District’s 3rd annual Bayou Vermilion Festival & Boat Parade at Vermilionville. The Bayou Vermilion Festival & Boat Parade is a celebration of and on the Bayou Vermilion that aims to increase awareness of the river as a viable source of recreation for Lafayette Parish and also serves as a fundraiser for the Bayou Vermilion District’s efforts along the Vermilion.

Bayou Vermilion Festival
The Festival will kick off at 10 a.m. with a display of antique putt-putt boats and engines and a mis-à-jour on Charles Richard’s upcoming film In the Mind of the Maker, complete with a screening of the film trailer and a discussion with the director and film subjects. The day will continue with a State of the River Panel discussion, film screenings, cooking demonstrations and boat making demonstrations. There will also be a kid’s corner with crafts and activities such as cork boats, fish rubbings, homemade sidewalk chalk, pinwheels, toss-across game and more. We will also be offering guided tours of Bayou Vermilion District’s rain garden and pervious pavement, Bayou Vermilion boat tours, and a performance by Soul Creole from 1 – 4 p.m. Admission to the Festival will be $5, but those registered to participate in the boat parade get in free with their $10 donation.

Bayou Vermilion Boat Parade
The Bayou Vermilion Boat Parade will kick off at 2 p.m. with a special ceremony honoring this year’s Grand Marshal in Memoriam, Dr. Griff Blakewood. Blakewood, who passed away earlier this year, was a community activist, environmentalist and avid supporter of recreation on and beautification of our local waterways. Members of Blakewood’s family will be present to accept the award on his behalf. The parade will depart from Vermilionville and end at the Camellia Bridge Launch with live music by the Lafayette Rhythm Devils trio and ŒUVAL, as well as food and drinks by Taco Sisters, Evolve, and Bayou Teche Brewing. The public is invited to participate in the parade by registering their boat or paddle craft by visiting BayouVermilionDistrict.org or call (337) 233-4077.

Bayou Vermilion District will also be taking reservations on a first come first serve basis for those wishing to use their canoes, single or double person kayaks for the parade. They will also be providing a complimentary shuttle service by Cajun Food Tours and LA Running Co. that will bring you from the Camellia Bridge launch to Vermilionville at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. You can reserve your paddle craft by visiting BayouVermilionDistrict.org or call (337) 233-4077.

Residents and businesses that live along the parade route are encouraged to invite friends and family over to watch the parade from their back yard. Those that do not live along the parade route can watch the parade at Vermilionville, Beaver Park, Rotary Point or they can watch the finale at the Camellia Bridge Launch. For a map of viewing locations visit BayouVermilionDistrict.org or call (337) 233-4077.

Bayou Vermilion Festival Timeline

10:00 a.m.

  • Antique Putt-Putt Boat Display (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
  • “In the Mind of the Maker” Trailer + Discussion with Filmmakers and Subjects and Creole Skiff Display (10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.)
  • Tours : Rain Garden & Pervious Pavement (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
  • Boat Making Demonstrations and Tools Display (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
  • Cooking Demos (10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)
  • Film : SoLA, Louisiana Water Stories (10 – 11 a.m.)

10:30 a.m.

  • Bayou Vermilion Boat Tour (10:30 – 11:00 a.m.)
  • Shuttle Service from Camellia Bridge Launch to Vermilionville

11:00 a.m.

  • Film : Anything I Can Catch (11 – 11:30 a.m.)
  • Kids’ Corner : Cork Boats, Fish Rubbings, Homemade Sidewalk Chalk, Toss-Across (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.)
  • State of the River : Presentations by the Bayou Vermilion District, Bayou Vermilion Preservation Association, & Teche-Vermilion Freshwater District (11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)

11:30 a.m.

  • Film : SoLa, Louisiana Water Stories (11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)
  • Bayou Vermilion Boat Tour (11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)
  • Shuttle Service from Camellia Bridge Launch to Vermilionville

12:30 p.m.

  • Film : Anything I Can Catch (12:30 – 1 p.m.)
  • Shuttle Service from Camellia Bridge Launch to Vermilionville

1:00 p.m.

  • Film : SoLa, Louisiana Water Stories (1 – 2 p.m.)
  • Music : Soul Creole (1-4 p.m.)

1:30 p.m.

  • Bayou Vermilion Boat Tour (1:30 – 2:00 p.m.)

2:00 p.m.

  • Film : Anything I Can Catch (2 – 2:30 p.m.)
  • Bayou Vermilion Boat Parade Launch (2-4 p.m.)

2:30 p.m.

  • Film : SoLa, Louisiana Water Stories (2:30 – 3:30 p.m.)
  • Bayou Vermilion Boat Tour (2:30 – 3:00 p.m.)

3:30 p.m.

  • Film : Anything I Can Catch (3:30 – 4 p.m.)

4:00 p.m.

  • Celebration at Camellia Bridge with the Lafayette Rhythm Devils Trio (4:00 – 6:00 p.m.) and ŒUVAL at Camellia (6:00 – 8:00 p.m.), with food and beverages by Taco Sisters, Evolve Artisan Juicery and Bayou Teche Brewing

Vermilionville thanks Bayou Teche Brewing, LA Running Co., Redmond’s Marine, Makemade, Schilling Distributing Company, Durel Mail & Imaging Technologies, Cajun Food Tours, Lafayette Consolidated Government, Townsquare Media Lafayette, Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Lafayette Parish Sherriff’s Office for their support.