With Mardi Gras behind us, you might be wondering what we can celebrate next. There's no reason the good times have to stop rolling. With the numerous festivals, outdoor concert series and special events planned over the course of the next few months, just about every weekend can be a party.
The great thing about outdoor concerts is that they are usually free of charge. Live at the Lakefront, for example is put on by the Arts & Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana, the City of Lake Charles and Deep South Productions along with other area organizations. The concert series occurs three Fridays in a row on March 14, 21 and 28. You might want to arrive by 5:30 to get a great parking spot and perfect view on the hill. The outdoor series will offer a variety of music, fresh air and opportunities for children to run around and have a great time. while allowing you food options from area eateries all within walking distance of the arcade amphitheater.
On March 14, local jam rock band, Fresh Nectar will set the stage for everything to come. Next up, the Pine Leaf Boys from Lafayette will bring Southwest Louisiana their Grammy-nominated Cajun sound. On March 21, we'll do it all again, this time with The Loaded 44rz bringing their rockabilly style mixed with a bit of country followed by the highly sought-after party rock band, the Flamethrowers. Wrapping up the concert series will be Lafayette’s The Onlies, bring out their Acadian Folk/Indie Folk style of tunes with roots and reggae favorite Ashes of Babylon as the finale. We hope to see you there and look forward to one of the largest outdoor music concerts in our region. Check out the Lake Charles/SWLA Convention and Visitor's Bureau's new blog for more entertainment options. Go to www.visitlakecharles.org for more details.
Between The Lake Charles Little Theatre, ACTS Theatre, McNeese State University's Department of Performing Arts, The Children's Theatre Company, Itinerant Theatre, Inc. and the numerous other on-stage productions at local schools, etc., there is no shortage of drama and talent in our area. Recently, we had Tarzan and Aladdin Jr. on stage, along with productions such as And the Rain Came to Mayfield and Tuesdays with Morrie that brought forth much thought and a deeper subject matter.
The art scene of SWLA is endless. Mark your calendars for the Spring Art Walk scheduled for April 25 from 5-9 p.m. where you can explore a variety of galleries throughout the downtown’s Charlestown Cultural District and surrounding areas. And on any given day, you can explore artwork at 1911 Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center, Central School, McNeese State University and dozens of galleries and spaces throughout the region.
I'm an advocate for the arts and support anyone who is willing to put in the work necessary to improve their skills. I personally do not consider myself an artist, however, I do have a voice and a platform that I choose to use to better our community. With that said, I would like to mention MusicMakers2U. The foundation accepts donations of musical instruments that are no longer used and in turn cleans and refurbishes them with the help of band directors and music teachers. The instruments are then given to deserving students. To find out what you can do to help, contact Eva LeBlanc at (337) 244-9314 or by e-mail at musicmakers2U@gmail.com.
If you have a passion for playing music or some other form of art, go out on a limb and share it publicly with us here in Southwest Louisiana. I know at first it may seem like a challenge, but after taking that first leap of faith, it may just turn out to be one of your greatest accomplishments. I have discovered some great talent on the lakefront and they are now close friends. Singer Kimberly Stegall was playing with her band Consequence of Silence when I first met her, and saxophonist Will Cryer was playing along the lake when I heard the tunes of his sax through the harsh cold wind of winter. Support the people around you and don't be afraid to start doing something new. Let's work together to make each day a great one, Southwest Louisiana!