Sulphur celebrates heritage, origins at Mines Festival

By By Cliff Seiber / American Press

It’s back to the mines, but not the notorious salt mines, for Sulphur’s annual festival this weekend.

The name of Sulphur’s annual music and

cultural celebration reverts to its original Sulphur Mines Festival name

when the 10th

mines celebration takes place Friday and Saturday, March 8-9, at

Heritage Square. The 1992 festival was first held in December,

then April, May and late-March. Now it has changed to early March

to avoid getting caught up in the hubbub of people’s Memorial

Day plans, Mayor Chris Duncan said.

The Sulphur Mines Festival arose out of

annual reunions of former employees of the Sulphur Mines northwest of

the existing

city. The site became the first sulfur extraction operation in the

United States when, in 1894, Dr. Hermann Frasch invented

his process for melting underground sulfur deposits with hot

water, injecting air into the molten mineral and pumping it to

the surface.

The “heritage festival” emerged in 2004 as the city marked the 90th anniversary of its founding. This year’s return to the

“sulphur mines” emphasis is a prelude to the city’s centennial next year.

“We expect great weather,” Thom Trahan, executive director of Brimstone Museum and Henning Cultural center. He said he doesn’t

expect construction of The Grove park nearby to affect festival-goers and in fact will improve parking.

“Like any Southwest Louisiana festival, there will be plenty of good food, good music and good times,” he said.

The move of the festival date from May

should increase traffic at the event, he said. To accommodate

anticipated larger attendance,

a bigger carnival, a national traveling company from Slidell, has

been signed. Carnival hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and

noon to 10 p.m. Saturday.

Musical highlights will be Vince Vance

and the Valiants of New Orleans on Friday night and the Kadillacs of

Lake Charles Saturday

night. Bands will be onstage from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and noon to

9:30 p.m. Saturday.

The third annual bake-off will be held Saturday. Amateur and professional bakers are being invited to cook up their favorite

recipes for judging. Prizes will be $150, $100 and $50 for the first three places.

Entrants are required to take their baked goods to the Henning Cultural Center by 10:30 a.m., when judging will begin. Winners

will be announced at noon, and festival-goers may sample the entries.

Each participant must bring enough of their entry to serve at least five judges.

Entry forms available Henning Cultural Center

All proceeds from this cook-off go to the Brimstone Historical Society.

For more information, please call the Henning Cultural Center at 337-527-0357.

If You Go

• Sulphur Mines Festival 5-10 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday at the Brimstone Museum and Henning Cultural Center on Logan Street, between Huntington and Ruth.

• No admission charge for festival; carnival rides prices will apply.

Band Schedule

• Friday: 6-7:30 p.m. Boomerang, 8-10 p.m. Vince Vance and the Valiants of New Orleans.

• Saturday: Noon-1:30 p.m. Twangster’s Union, 2-3:30 p.m. Blackbird, 4-5:30 p.m. Barbe Show Choir, 6-7:30 p.m. Sean Ardoin and Zydekool, 8-9:30 p.m. The Kadillacs.