"Le Grand Hoorah"

A brief history of a Prairie Heritage Inc. production...

By: Linzay Paul Young

The inaugural celebration of “Le Grand Hoorah” production began in April 2015 as a way to mark the beginning of a new era of cultural preservation in Acadiana / Evangeline Parish near the historic city of Ville Platte, Louisiana. Since the festival first emerged, it was welcomed and supported by the local communities who were passionate about the cultural and historical experiences their ancestors (many of whom were Cajun and Creole musicians, dancers, story tellers and exceptional cooks) had shared with them.

“Le Grand Hoorah” was supposed to be a “party with a purpose” not content to be just another throw-down that would leave you glad that you had Sunday to recover; the “Hoorah” promised to bring together the most dedicated and fun-loving torch bearers of Cajun and Creole culture in an effort to fulfill the mission of Prairie Heritage, Inc., to create and foster relationships focused on preserving the music, food, language, and folk arts of the people of Acadiana; all while celebrating our heritage with a multi-faceted event that would surely raise the bar for festivals in Louisiana.

The “Hoorah” begins with a French Opening Catholic Blessing, songs by our French Immersion children, and ending with a Catholic French Mass on Sunday morning, while of course, boasting some of the best music and food around, but also camping, boating, swimming, fishing, and fun for the whole family.

“Le Grand Hoorah” is sure to be an event you will look forward to every year; but even after the last breath of accordion bellows and the last brush of a fiddle bow; after the last clank of a spoon on a cast iron pot and the quenching of the coals; the fun may be over, but the work will continue. The “Hoorah” and it’s not-for-profit parent organization, Prairie Heritage Inc., will utilize money raised at the production to fund programs throughout the area that continue to support our unique culture all year long. Projects to benefit initially will include French Immersion programs, and a goal of a flagship apprenticeship program spearheaded by Prairie Heritage Inc., that will pair young cultural enthusiasts with Masters of a Cultural Art to encourage and facilitate the passing of the torch from one generation to the next.

So, join us at Lakeview Park this September 24th and 25th, 2022 for “Le Grand Hoorah”, where you will not only have the time of your life for one weekend, but where you can take comfort knowing that your presence will be helping to support our unique culture for generations to come.

 

MUSIC

“Le Grand Hoorah” will feature some of the hottest acts in Louisiana music. These bands have traveled the world promoting our unique sonic heritage in countless countries around the globe, and have garnered several Grammy Awards, and many more nominations, confirming that our humble music is respected by the who’s who of the music industry in the United States, yet it is here, at home in South Louisiana, where they really shine. Here on the soil where they first heard the music which inspired them--the music which gave them the “frissons”the first time they heard that piercing, cathartic wail signifying joy and sorrow simultaneously. The “Hoorah” will incorporate all the stages of the metamorphosis of the music; from a lone young fiddler playing his heart out on a stump at dusk to a raucous jam under a tent in the pouring rain where bottles are passed in circles along with instruments, to a climatic tug of war between a fully amplified, rocking band and a sweating crowd of dancers that dare them to take the energy to the next level. So, come on out and hear the best in the biz that will be live and direct, learn a tune from an old friend or a complete stranger, or just listen and enjoy and maybe shake a leg if it itches.

FOOD

Have you ever been to that fast food chain that has served billions (and billions...) and tried the spicy “chicken” sandwich named shamelessly after an entire ethnic group? Regardless of your answer, this sandwich does exist. Products branded as Cajun, or Creole, simply because they are loaded with cayenne pepper are ubiquitous today. If a thing can be spread as thin, and still be so tenacious, what does that say about the genuine article? Come and find out for yourself at “Le Grand Hoorah”, where we are kicking off early Saturday morning with an old-school “Boucherie”. There will be cooking everywhere you turn, so watch your step. Amateurs. Professionals. Anyone who take a notion will be firing up their favorite “chaudiere noire” or grandma’s magnalite and cooking up something for you to eat; just because they love feeding people. Fair warning, if someone walks up to you out of nowhere and slaps you in the mouth while blurting an unintelligible expletive, it is probably because they just ate the best damn thing they ever tasted and they couldn’t help themselves. Such is the power of Cajun food.

DANCE

Come all ye two-steppers, zydeco-ers, waltzers, jitterbuggers, and buckle-polishers. Music at the “Hoorah” will include plenty of Cajun and Zydeco, with some Swamp Pop and Rhythm and Blues thrown in for good measure. So whatever type of dancing you enjoy to help you shake off the stresses of the week, come out and try something new as well. Our big “ole” dance floor is out of the weather, so rain or shine, the show will go on!!!