11th Annual Bayou Teche Black Bear Festival - 2014

The 11th Annual Bayou Teche Black Bear Festival will take place from April 11 – 13, 2014, in downtown Franklin, Louisiana. The focus of the festival is educating the public about the Louisiana black bear, a species listed as “threatened” by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, along with all the components of a traditional south Louisiana festival: great music and food, arts and crafts, and educational activities for both adults and children.

Traditional events, like the Running of the Bears 5K Run/Walk sponsored by the Teche Action Clinic and Boat Trips into the Bayou Teche, will take place Saturday, April 12th. Registration for the Running of the Bears 5K Run/Walk will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 am at the St. Mary Parish Court House, and Boat Trips will begin at 8:30 am and every 90 minutes after located in the rear of the Blevins Building on the corner of Willow Street and Teche Drive. Other events will include arts and crafts booths, food booths, Fun Zone, Cub Club Arena, Bear-y Patch Educational Area, Black Bear Obstacle Course, Teddy Bear and Friends Repair Clinic, Cajun Horseshoes, Crowning of the Queen, Bear Raffle Drawing, B.E.A.R.S. Bayouland Emergency Amateur Radio Service and Running of the Ducks. Also, a fireworks show will take place on the beautiful Bayou Teche, behind the Blevin’s Building, on Saturday, April 12th beginning at 8:30 pm. There will be a great line-up of live entertainment that will be announced soon.

The 5th Annual Bayou Teche Wooden Boat Show will take place in conjunction with the Bayou Teche Black Bear Festival from April 11 – 13, 2014. View a collection of antique and newly built watercraft on display, all constructed of wood. Demonstrations on tying fishing flies, fly casting lessons and demonstrations, and boat building demonstrations are a few events that have been added to this year’s show. The show will begin at 6:00 pm on Friday, April 11th and concludes at 6:00 pm on Sunday, April 13th.

There will be a great line-up of live entertainment including on Friday, April 11th, Sideshow will perform from 6:00 to 8:00 pm and Krossfyre from 8:30 to 10:30 pm. On Saturday, April 12th, The 5 O’clock Shadeaux Band will kick off the live entertainment for the day from 12 noon to 2:00 pm. Flashback will perform from 3:00 to 5:00 pm; followed by Tommy G & Stormy Weather from 5:45 to 7:45 pm, and Chubby Carrier will conclude Saturday’s line up from 8:30 to 10:30 pm. On Sunday April 13th, performances by Soul Juke Box from 1:30 to 3:30 pm and from 4:00 to 6:00 pm Foret Tradition will take place. 

Sponsors for this year’s festival include the Louisiana Wetlands, LLC, City of Franklin, St. Mary Parish Government, Franklin Foundation Hospital, Dr. Donna Tesi, Teche Federal Bank, Cabot, Miller Engineers, Edward Jones, St. Mary Coop, Sterling Sugars, Firmin Architects, Best Western, Black Bear Conservation Committee, Cajun Coast Visitors & Convention Bureau, and LouisianaTravel.com. Supporters for this year’s festival include US Fish & Wildlife Service, LA Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries and Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge.

For more information, contact Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau at (985) 395-4905, (800) 256-2931, www.cajuncoast.com/bearfest, or visit www.bayoutechebearfest.org.