20th Creole Heritage Celebration to be held Sept. 13-15

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The 20th annual Creole Heritage Celebration will be held Sept. 13-15 in the Friedman Student Union at Northwestern State University.

The theme of the celebration sponsored by The Creole Heritage Center at NSU is “Struggles & Persistence – But Still We Rise.”

Registration for all events is $75 for Creole Heritage Center members and $90 for non-members. Tickets to just the banquet are $40 for Center members and $50 for non-members. Tickets to the dance only at $20 per individual and $30 for a couple for members and $25 per person and $40 per couple for non-members. Tickets can be reserved online at creoleheritage.eventbrite.com.

Events begin on Thursday, Sept. 13 with a meet and greet, registration, entertainment and prize bingo from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

On Friday, registration and a welcome will take place from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. The morning will include programs on how the Creole Heritage Center Started and showcasing Creole organizations. Afternoon sessions are on the Amedé Ardoin project and “What is Creole music?”

The banquet and awards ceremony is set for 6 p.m. featuring keynote speaker Lt. Gen. (ret.) Russel L. Honoré with appearances by Melissa Anderson, USA Ambassador Mrs. and Miss Louisiana Hollí Conway. The awards ceremony will honor the winners of the annual Creole Peoples Award along with a special recognition.

Welcome and registration will be held on Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Sessions on Saturday morning will be on Creole language, a viewing of film “First Cousins” with filmmaker Moriah Istre and discussion of the book “Creoles of South Louisiana.” A mass will be held at 4 p.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Church on Fifth St. in Natchitoches. Events will conclude with a performance of “Creole Lady Sings the Blues” featuring Annette Metoyer and the Guys.

Exhibits from the Cammie G. Henry Research Center, Cane River Creole National Historical Park, Los Adaes State Historic Site, Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Commemorative Area, Cane River National Heritage Area are also planned.

Authors Elista Istre, Darrell Bourque, Elvin Shields and Honoré will have copies of their books for sale.

A native of Lakeland, Honoré was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry and awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Agriculture upon graduation from Southern University and A&M College in 1971. He holds a Master of Arts in Human Resources from Troy State University as well as an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration from Southern University and A&M College, an Honorary Doctorate in Laws from Stillman College and an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Stillman College.

Prior to his command of Joint Task Force-Katrina – leading the Department of Defense response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana – Honoré served in a variety of command and staff positions which focused on Defense Support to Civil Authorities and Homeland Defense.

Honoré retired on February 29, 2008, following 37 years of active service with the United States Army. He continues to speak and consult nationally on Building a Culture of Preparedness.

For more information, contact the Creole Heritage Center at (318) 357-6685 or at creolecenter@nsula.edu.