Celebration set to kick-off the bicentennial of Louisiana’s ‘No Man’s Land’

The Louisiana State Fiddle Champion Clancey Stewart will perform at the event. The Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival hosted the Louisiana State Fiddle Championship in July 2018 in Magale Recital Hall, where Clancey was named champion.

In partnership with Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, Cane River National Heritage Area and the Friends of Fort Jesup, the No Man’s Land Bicentennial Committee announces the kick-off of the Bicentennial Celebration of Louisiana’s No Man’s Land. Set for Friday, Feb. 15 and Saturday, Feb. 16 at Fort Jesup State Historic Site, the event will include living history demonstrations, cast-iron cooking, music and children’s activities that uncover the legends and celebrate the culture of Louisiana’s Final Frontier.

The Neutral Strip region, (a.k.a. No Man’s Land) draws its name from the area’s brief stint as an official buffer zone between Spain and the United States following the Louisiana Purchase. When the United States purchased the territory from France; Spain and the U.S. were in conflict over the boundary south of Natchitoches. The region’s use as an official buffer between Louisiana and Spanish Texas lasted roughly from 1806 until the 1819 Adams-Onis Treaty that established the Sabine River as the territory’s western boundary.

Sometimes described as a place filled with an outlaw culture or as a region with a reputation for a tough and isolated place, the region is better understood as a stronghold for those cultural groups who wished to find a home where they could preserve a way of life they cherished in Louisiana’s No Man’s Land. Today, No Man’s Land is the place where the pirate met the cowboy, and where Native Americans, French, Spanish, Africans, Creoles, Cajuns, and American pioneers from the South and West met to build communities and a culture like no other.

The No Man’s Land – Becoming Louisiana Bicentennial Celebration is a collaborative effort between the seven parishes who are historically tied to the geographic area of Louisiana’s Final Frontier. Partner members include Desoto Parish Tourist Bureau, Sabine Parish Tourist Commission, Natchitoches Parish Tourist Commission, Vernon Parish Tourism, Beauregard Tourist Commission, Allen Parish Tourist Commission, Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana CVB and Cane River National Heritage Area.

The kick-off celebration begins Friday, Feb. 15 with an official opening ceremony at 10 a.m. featuring remarks from Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser. The Louisiana State Fiddle Champion, Clancey Stewart will perform and an authentic No Man’s Land lunch will be served after the ceremony. Living historians and reenactors will be on hand to demonstrate life on the Louisiana frontier. Local schools and homeschool groups are invited to participate on this day, to reserve your group spot please contact Cane River National Heritage Area at 318-356-5555.

The celebration continues on Saturday, Feb. 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with living history demonstrations, music and children’s activities. Both event days are free and open to the public. Fort Jesup SHS is located off Highway 6 near Many at 32 Geoghagan Road. For more information, contact the Sabine Parish Tourist Commission at 1-800-358-7802.

Beginning in the Fall of 2018 and continuing into the Fall of 2021, the No Man’s Land Bicentennial Committee will jointly promote the culture, history, art, folklife, natural resources, cuisine, attractions and events of No Man’s Land. To learn more about No Man’s Land visit our website at www.VisitNoMansLand.com.