Emily Young Doucet and Ron Yule, past Louisiana state fiddle champions, performed during the Beauregard Parish history presentation. (Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Saturday, July 27, 2013 8:37 PM
Saturday’s thunder and downpour did not put a damper on Beauregard Parish’s historic milestone.
On July 27 the city of DeRidder, the parish seat, helped to celebrate one hundred years of Beauregard’s existence. Formerly of Calcasieu, Beauregard became its own autonomous parish on January 1, 1913. In commemoration, the city of DeRidder invited non-parish residents and locals alike to come enjoy barbeque, hear guest speakers and listen to bands from the area.
DeQuincy resident Leon Randolph attended the free event, showing off his rose-colored 1958 Chevy Bel Aire. His car was just one among more than a dozen classic and souped-up automobiles.
“This is my hobby,” Randolph said. “I don’t fish, I don’t hunt. I show my car. It’s my baby.”
Held in the parish’s exhibition hall and fairgrounds, festivalgoers sipped freshly-squeezed lemonades and noshed on funnel cakes, deep-fried Oreos, and barbecued meats purveyed by local cooks hoping to be named the king or queen of chargrilled foods.
One such hopeful is Patrick Smyth who works for Progressive waste, the parish’s waste management provider. In exchange for little samples of his pulled pork and homemade coleslaw on a soft roll, he asked that samplers leave a little change in his mason jar for the local women’s shelter. He said he was more concerned about helping to raise money than the title of BBQ champ.
“The parish asked us to be here and we said yes,” Smyth said. “The parish has been great to us.”
Those who needed a break from the sun and humidity were not left out of the festivities. Inside the exhibition hall, attendees heard a gospel choir, local bands Frank Ott Band and Redbone Band, and a speech from Col. Bret Van Camp of Fort Polk’s 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.