The Bayou Vermilion District's Vermilionville will celebrate their annual Acadian Culture Day Sunday, August 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The event will be free to the public.

This year’s Acadian Culture Day will focus on family folklore.  The activities planned for the day will include:

  • Tarte cooking demonstrations
  • Artisan demonstrations such as trapping, job’s tear rosaries, quilting, wood carving, Mardi Gras capuchon and mask making
  • Open hearth cooking
  • Old-time washing and clothesline hanging
  • Canoe paddles in Le Petit Bayou
  • Games and crafts for children including tintamarre noise makers, rag dolls and Acadiana flag making
  • Sharing circles on Healing Traditions & Superstitions
  • Film screenings of Tintamarre - On the Trail of Acadians in North America by André Gladu and T’Galop by Conni Castille
  • Music in the Performance Center by La Recolte Band and the Al Berard Family Band
  • Dance lessons before each band

Each year for Acadian Culture Day Vermilionville presents a representative of the community with the Acadian Cultural Preservation Award in recognition of outstanding lifetime contributions to the preservation of the culture and the community.

This year’s recipient is Richard Guidry (1949-2008) for his impact on multiple levels of the Acadian community.

Guidry was born in Gueydan on October 18, 1949. He earned his BA degree in Education from USL in 1972 in French and Spanish.

He earned his Master's Degree in 1975, after transferring from a year's study at McGill University in Montreal, Québec, Canada.

He then received a Second Language Specialist Degree from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, today the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, in 1977. While at USL, he earned recognition in honors' programs such as Pi Delta Phi, the French Honor Society, and Kappa Delta Pi, the Education Honor Society.

He began his career as a kindergarten teacher in St. Martin Parish. He was later employed as the Education Programs Coordinator for Foreign Languages and Bilingual Education by the Louisiana State Department of Education, Region IV. In this post he introduced Louisiana French into the French Education curriculum, a major advance considering the social stigma formerly attached to speaking the state's linguistic variant.

He authored C'est p'us pareil, La Famille Richard, Les Jeunes Louisianais, La Cousine Franco-Louisianais, Le Français Louisianais (Louisiana French Lexicon), Le Point du Nez-piqué, La Police des Animaux, "Beaux Rêves" in Voyages, for use with C'est Ça, texts for teaching Louisiana French culture and language within the Immersion Programs.

He has also written: Une Journée aux Pièges, a children's story in French using Louisiana French cultural themes and terms for teaching French in the elementary classroom and was published in Editions de la Nouvelle Acadie through the Center for Louisiana Studies at ULL. He was a co-editor and consultant on the Dictionary of Louisiana French as Spoken in the Cajun, Creole and American Indian Communities which is dedicated to his memory.

He participated in creating several educational videos for LPB. Among these were "La Sauce Pimentée," "La Butte de Coquilles," "Le Chien de Lune," and "The ABC's of French and Spanish" to be used in schools throughout the francophone world.

He was a member of Le Théâtre 'Cadien, writing, acting, and directing plays in Cajun French such as Mille Misères, 1981; La Table des Veuves, 1982; Le Charivari, 1984; Les Deux Sourds, 1985; Grosbecs, 1987; Les Attakapas, 1988; La Denière Couilte, 1989. In 1984, he wrote the screenplay of a 30 minute film, "La Légende de la Butte de Coquilles," in collaboration with Via le Monde, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and UNESCO based on a story from his book, Les Jeunes Louisianais.

He was a volunteer for the Jean Lafitte National Park, Vermilionville, Acadian Village and Le Théâtre 'Cadien. He was a Bilingual tour guide for Acadian Creole tours of New Orleans, Acadiana To Go, Allons-à-Lafayette and Cajun Country Tours of Lafayette.

For his contributions to education and the French language in Louisiana, France awarded him the title of Chevalier in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques in 1995. He was inducted into the Acadian Museum of Erath's Order of Living Legends in 2001 Richard passed away in Lafayette on July 27, 2008.

Past award recipients include:

  • The Michot Family
  • Pat Mire
  • Aldus Roger
  • Floyd Sonnier
  • Camey Doucet
  • Warren Perrin
  • Eddie Richard
  • A.J. LeBlanc
  • Karl Breaux
  • Pete Bergeron
  • Elaine Clément
  • Dr. Carl A. Brasseaux
  • Dr. Ray Brassieur
  • Edward Cazayoux

For more information about Acadian Culture Day visit Vermilionville.org or call (337) 233-4077.