Friends in St. Francisville, La. Blog
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The following press releases are arranged by the newest on top to the oldest on the bottom.  Some articles are from prior years.  While the dates are not representative of the current year the information is still similar.
ST. FRANCISVILLE IS FOR THE BIRDS
by Anne Butler

Calling St. Francisville “for the birds” is hardly derogatory. In St. Francisville, it’s ALL about the birds, and it always has been, even since artist-naturalist John James Audubon arrived in the summer of 1821 and was spellbound by the lush landscape and richness of the birdlife. He painted several dozen of his famous bird studies right in the St. Francisville area, and left such an indelible stamp on the area that everywhere you look, there’s some tribute to the artist: the wonderful new Audubon Library, shiny cable-stayed Audubon Bridge over the Mississippi River, cozy little Audubon Café, even the ever-popular Audubon Liquor Store.

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Continuing Ed in St. Francisville
by Anne Butler

OLLI by D. ReevesThe Boomer Generation, just reaching retirement age in remarkably good physical and mental shape, is not surrendering to old age without a fight. Instead, they are running marathons and racing bikes, beginning new careers and travelling to all corners of the globe. The rocking chairs on the porches of their mountain chalets are strictly for après ski, and when they consider relocating in their retirement years, lifestyle enhancements are even more important than economic opportunities.

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St. Francisville, LA: Tilling The Soil Through Time
by Anne Butler

Turk Cap In 1831 the Encyclopaedia Americana called the District of Nueva Feliciana the garden of Louisiana, its rich well-watered soils and happy climate perfect for the cultivation of gardens both pragmatic and merely pleasing to the senses.
The first cash crops, indigo and cotton, corn and sugarcane, were planted as soon as the fields were laboriously cleared. Each early dwelling had its kitchen garden and truck patch for growing foodstuffs for family and farm animals, plus herbs for cooking as well as medicinal purposes. And once those plantings had been established and the pioneering families prospered,

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Flags Over St. Francisville
by Anne Butler

Market Hall by Gail ChisumThe St. Francisville area is so incredibly scenic that since the days of Audubon it has inspired artists and writers, photographers and painters. It still does. Several local artists have galleries in the historic district downtown, and the West Feliciana Historical Society’s museum-headquarters on Ferdinand Street displays a nice selection of coffee table photography books with glorious images of the area’s landscapes and architecture.
Being released this month is yet another, Flags Along the Way: A Pictorial Journey Through the History of West Feliciana, which promises to supplement the current crop of

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A GATHERING OF WRITERS AND READERS IN ST. FRANCISVILLE
by Anne Butler

CashWhen the West Feliciana Parish Police Jury in midsummer approved a bid of $2.7 million to construct a new library, old timers considered it a natural progression in an area that has traditionally been devoted to the literary arts. The town had one of the state’s earliest public libraries, and the surrounding plantations had extensive private libraries of their own. Today St. Francisville is home for several published authors and retired university literature professors.
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AUDUBON PILGRIMAGE SURE SIGN OF SPRING IN ST. FRANCISVILLE
by Anne Butler

Christmas in Country ShoppingThe forty-third annual Audubon Pilgrimage March 21, 22 and 23, 2014, celebrates a southern spring in St. Francisville, the glorious garden spot of Louisiana’s English Plantation Country. The ice storms of winter may have confused the plants, but savvy pilgrims know it’s spring when the West Feliciana Historical Society throws open the doors of significant historic structures to commemorate artist-naturalist John James Audubon’s stay as he painted a number of his famous bird studies and tutored the daughter of Oakley Plantation’s Pirrie family, beautiful young Eliza. And regardless of the winter weather, the azaleas always come through with spectacular bloom just in time for the pilgrimage.
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MARDI GRAS ESCAPEES PARADE TO ST. FRANCISVLLE
by Anne Butler

St. FrancisvilleAs the rest of south Louisiana celebrates Mardi Gras in a burst of fun and frivolity preceding the austerity of Lent, with everything from costumed royalty at masquerade balls to fabulous floats in colorful street parades and even rowdy riders galloping about in pursuit of terrified chickens for the gumbo pot, St. Francisville marches to its own different drum and does what it does best. This quiet little rivertown in English Louisiana, where the primarily Protestant pioneers made no fuss over carnival season, provides a respite from the madness, a peaceful haven for Fat Tuesday escapees and a romantic destination for Valentine lovers.
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ONLY IN ST. FRANCISVILLE
by Anne Butler

Christmas in Country ShoppingTourism in Louisiana is big business, generating some $10.7 billion in annual spending by more than 26 million visitors. Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, head of the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, is introducing a new marketing campaign for 2014 with emphasis on Louisiana’s cultural diversity. Its tagline is “Only in Louisiana,” a slogan promoting the state as a unique cultural destination, and St. Francisville fits right into that marketing campaign with a number of site-specific local offerings ranging from the country’s largest bald cypress tree to a museum full of compelling exhibits on the hair-raising history of the country’s largest and most infamous maximum-security prison.
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DECK THE HILLS AT ST. FRANCISVILLE’S CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION
by Anne Butler

Christmas in Country ShoppingChristmas, as customarily celebrated in the country, was marked by beloved rituals and time-honored traditions. Houses were decked with woodland greenery, cedar trees cut and strung with cherished decorations, mistletoe hung in anticipation of stolen kisses, nativities assembled and church services attended, even a few cups of creamy eggnog downed. And then 19th-century country folk piled into horsedrawn wagons and headed into the area’s commercial and cultural center, St. Francisville, where wide-eyed children pressed cold noses against frosted storefront windows and dreamed of china dolls or wooden rocking horses.
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Visit St. Francisville—new guidebook for tourists
by Anne Butler

Throughout much of the 20th century, tourists flocked to the St. Francisville area’s unspoiled pastoral landscapes and splendid plantation homes for guided tours through the romanticized glories of the antebellum period, with some historic homes open to the public on a daily basis and other private homes open only during the spring Audubon Pilgrimage. But times have changed, and so have the demographics of tourism. Some visitors are younger, the older ones are more active, and they all want to be more engaged, more involved, more informed.
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Celebrate the Yellow Leaves of Autumn in St. Francisville
by Anne Butler

Joe Lackie In one of few spots in South Louisiana where the arrival of autumn actually does bring brilliant fall color---the yellows and oranges and reds of turning leaves in the hardwood forests of the Tunica Hills---the appropriately named Yellow Leaf Festival October 26 and 27 is an outdoor celebration of all things creative---art and crafts and music and writing. And this year’s eleventh annual festival is heralded by a colorful poster that is the wonderful work of Joe Lackie, whose many years of astute observation of his surroundings have given him the rare gift of being able to share that sense of wonder and appreciation through his very fine watercolors.
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Saving St. Francisville History, One Frame At A Time
by Anne Butler

Buggy photo “If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday,” said Nobel Prize-winning novelist Pearl Buck. West Feliciana Historic Society museum director Helen Williams has had to keep reminding herself of that every time another patron has arrived loaded down with dusty boxes full of fragments of local history---
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SOUND OF MUSIC IN THE HILLS AROUND ST. FRANCISVILLE
by Anne Butler

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In the 19th century, according to Louisiana author Stanley C. Arthur, “with the coming of summer, planters with their wives and children flocked into the city from the countryside, all looking for culture.” Everyone knows the story of how plantation mistress Lucy Pirrie of Oakley found gifted artist/naturalist John James Audubon down on his luck . . .

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Above articles are available for press/promotional use only. High resolution photographs to accompany these articles are available by request. Contact Patrick Walsh by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or calling (800) 488-6502
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