The Cajun French Music Association will host its first "Cajun Mardi Gras Ball and Family Night" from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 2. The Cajun Soul and Friends band will be the night's featured entertainment playing "old time, foot stomping Cajun music, spiced with 60's and 70's SWLA swamp pop and a dash of New Orleans Mardi Gras Music," said Ron Granger, band spokesman.
A event for the whole family, Granger said, "I know that the future of the Cajun music is dependant on the young people and the children." Set up next to the main stage, the children will have their own lighted "stage" to try out traditional Cajun instruments such as washboards and triangles.
Throughout the night children will also have an opportunity to learn and practice the traditional dance steps in order to keep the dance traditions alive as well. "I don't go to play music, I go to entertain," he said.
Cajun Soul and Friends prides itself on playing the a range of styles encompassing Cajun music. "There's not one definition of Cajun music because times change and generations defined their music with what they like."
Granger said the band may play three or four traditional numbers with the accordion, fiddle, guitar and drums and then transition into the swamp pop sounds unique to Southwest Louisiana with the introduction of a trumpet and guitar with effects that sound like a saxophone. "All of a sudden, we go from traditional to more modern. We have great flexibility."
In addition to music and dance the ball will also feature Cajun food favorites like gumbo and cracklins and a chicken run for the kids. Guests are invited to dress in traditional Cajun Mardi Gras clothes with an ongoing contest for the best dressed. Door prizes will also be awarded throughout the night including artwork, gift cards and alcohol.
"It's a fun night. We're Cajuns and we never meet a stranger."
The Cajun Mardi Gras Ball and Family Night will be held at the CFMA Hall, 3481 East Prien Lake Road. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for adults in masks and free for children under 12. For more information call, Renee Daigle at 337-802-4077.