Fiesta de Los IslenosMar 11th, 2011 | By Terri Sercovich | Category: Community
Los Isleños Museum Complex to showcase more than $3 million in new construction and renovations
Visitors to enjoy great food, music, crafts and living history demonstrations
Los Isleños Heritage and Cultural Society will celebrate its 35th annual Isleño Festival March 19 to 20 at Los Isleños Museum Complex at 1345-1357 Bayou Road in St. Bernard Village. The two-day event will feature a variety of local seafood and Spanish dishes, music, crafts and living history demonstrations set on a site that has, to date, seen more than $3 million in renovations and improvements completed by St. Bernard Parish Government.
The 30-acre complex includes the Isleño Historic Village of seven historic or replica buildings in the rear of Los Isleños Museum and the Ducros Museum. The village will be the setting for an expanded series of living history demonstrations, featuring folk crafts, historic vernacular lifestyles and the cultural identity of the Isleño descendants’ community in St. Bernard Parish.
Last year, the parish celebrated the grand opening of the Isleño and Ducros Museum buildings at the fiesta as well as renovations to several other buildings. Since last year’s fiesta, Parish Government has completed the historical reconstruction of the Multi-Purpose Building and the Estopinal House and Kitchen as well as improvements to the nature trails adjacent to the historic village. Additionally, the parish is upgrading the site’s access road and parking.
“It’s great to see the culmination of the historically rich and culturally significant part of our recovery and growth,” St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro said. “I applaud Los Isleños Heritage and Cultural Society and the Canary Islands Descendants Association for their dedication to keeping this part of St. Bernard’s identity alive.”
Isleño Society President Dot Benge, who will walk the grounds of the festival in the traditional Isleño dress, welcomes all to come enjoy the fiesta.
“I believe this will the best festival ever,” Benge said. “We’ve been working hard to organize new programs which will feature the history and culture of the Canary Islands. The folkloric group La Parranda de Teror from Gran Canaria will be coming for the first time. As always, this event is so important to me because I am very dedicated to the preserving the distinct culture of my grandparents Manuel and Camille Molero, in whose memory the Isleño Museum is donated.”
Taffaro and Benge will open Fiesta 2011 Saturday, March 19 at noon with a brief welcome ceremony. Saturday’s entertainment will include Fredy Omar Con su Banda, La Parranda de Teror and Way Down South. The Chalmette High School Jazz Ensemble, La Parranda de Teror and the Top Cats will perform Sunday, March 20.
The featured group – La Parranda de Teror – is a highly recognized folkloric group from the city of Teror in Gran Canaria that emulates the style of Los Sabandenos from Tenerife. La Parranda is currently celebrating its 21st year and has performed in prestigious folk music festivals throughout the mainland of Spain and Western Europe. The group’s repertoire of music ranges from the very traditional isas, folias, polkas and mazurkas of the Canaries to New Orleans Jazz.
In addition to entertainment on stage, each building and the surrounding grounds will be utilized for displays which will include farming, alligator hunting, trapping, boat building, trawl making, basket weaving, Teneriffe lace making and quilting. The Isleño Center will be the site of presentations interpreting the Isleño cultural identity including folk remedies, traditional Isleño cuisine, historic farming and the Battle of New Orleans. Los Isleños Historic Village consists of seven structures that include the Coconut Island Barroom, Estopinal House and Kitchen, Esteves House and Cresap-Caserta which are historic structures that were re-located to the museum complex by Los Isleños Society.
At the center of the site are two large food pavilions where visitors can enjoy seafood dishes cooked a variety of ways including fried shrimp and fish, grilled oysters, oysters on the half-shell and shrimp and grits. Spanish offerings include Caldo, which is a Spanish soup, Paella, which is a Spanish rice dish, Flan, which is a Spanish egg custard, homemade Sangria and more!
For additional information, please contact Isleño Society President Dot Benge at 504. 554.8412, Fiesta Chairman Hugh Pentney at 504.251.2040, Los Isleños Society Publicity Coordinator at Ryan Fink at 504.650.1010 or email@example.com , Karen Turni Bazile, Assistant to the St. Bernard Parish President for Public Information, at 504.874.0980 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Donna Mumfrey Martin at 504.912.3859 email@example.com. Visit www.sbpg.net for more information.
• Noon: Opening Ceremony followed by the Senior Heritage Program
• 1-3 p.m.: Fredy Omar Con Su Banda
• 3-4 p.m.: La Parranda De Teror
•4-8 p.m.: Way Down South
Ladies’ day presentations and demonstrations: March 19
• 1 p.m.: Teneriffe lace: Joan Phillips and Doris Serigne
• 2 p.m.: Lost Secrets of the Islenos: Remedies, Cures and Superstitions, featuring Celie Robin
• 3 p.m.: Cooking and Tasting Demonstration: Spanish soup, also known as Caldo by Cinda Rodriguez Melerine
Living history demonstrations on March 19 and 20
• Esteves House: At 1:15 and 3:15 p.m., Pablo and Maria skit starring Dot Benge and Bertin Esteves, Jr. will be performed.
• Los Islenos Museum: Bartolome Molero and Maria Quintana skit starring Ryan Gregoire and Megan Alfonso will be performed. Docent Tours will be 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.
• Estopinal House: Docent Tours will be 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.
• Esteves House: Docent Tours will be 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.
• 12-1:30 p.m. Chalmette High School Jazz Band
• 1:30-2:30 p.m.: Junior Heritage Program
• 2:30-4 p.m.: La Parranda De Teror
• 4-8 p.m.: Top Cats
Men’s day presentations on March 20
• 1 p.m.: The Battle Of New Orleans: David Smith
• 2 p.m.: Farming In The Village: Jerry Estopinal
• 3 p.m.: La Parranda De Teror; Meet and Greet Musicians. CD’s for sale.