The Pitot House Life on the Bayou Heritage Fair will show what it might have been like to live in New Orleans’ earliest settlement on the banks of Bayou St. John 300 years ago, especially connections to Native Americans, with demonstrations, entertainment, storytelling, re-enactments, children’s activities and tours of the historic Pitot House, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday August 11.
Children of all ages, parents and adults are invited to experience this one-day special event featuring more than twenty local artisans and craftsmen at work using centuries-old techniques, including re-enactors in period costume.
Grayhawk Perkins, who is of Native American Choctaw and Houma Nation descent and is a recognized expert on Native American and American Colonial history, will share tales of ancient cultures. Funding for artisan appearances is made possible by a grant from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation.
The Life on the Bayou Heritage Fair brings typical 1800s-era activities back to the circa 1799 Pitot House. This year’s event incorporates the significant role Native Americans and Bayou St. John had in the founding of the city in 1718. Native Americans guided Bienville and Iberville to the Bayou, which was already populated with early European settlers who put down roots on the banks of the bayou in 1708.
The fair showcases an array of talented and unique artisans and craftsmen including Native American basket makers, Houma Indian crafts, wood carving and beaded jewelry making, boat building, indigo dying, caning, quilting, carpentry, pottery making, and calligraphy.
Games like those children played back then will be available for kids to try on the Pitot House lawn. Visitors will also be regaled with storytelling by Grayhawk Perkins, intrigued with re-enactments of ordinary life during a militia muster by Plauche’s Battalion French Soldiers, and entertained by New Orleans Quarter Shantey Krewe singing songs of sailors and their adventures at sea from another era, plus Louisiane Vintage Dancers recreating the dances, music and costumes of the 1800’s in the Pitot House.
Admission to Life on the Bayou Heritage Fair is $7.50 per person and is open to children accompanied by adults (children under 3 get in free) and anyone interested in experiencing this unique offering of heritage education and entertainment.
The Pitot House is located at 1440 Moss Street, next door to Cabrini High School on Bayou St. John between Grand Route St. John and Esplanade Avenue. Free parking at Cabrini High School or along Moss Street. For more information call (504) 482-0312 or visit www.louisianalandmarks.org.