Photo by Willow Haley

Zydeco Music Exhibit Opens in Opelousas

A new interpretive exhibit designed to teach locals and visitors about zydeco music has opened in Opelousas.

The City of Opelousas Tourism created the “Zydeco Music” exhibit, which explores the development and culture of this unique, Louisiana-born style of music and dance. The presentation includes seven panels that display the legends of zydeco, the history and information on how these Creole sounds developed from the colonial period to the present in South Louisiana.

Zydeco Legends ExhibitThe exhibit was funded through a grant made possible from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior through Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, Office of Cultural Development a Division of Historic Preservation.

“We are extremely grateful for the grant support to produce this comprehensive and fascinating exhibit,” Tourism Director Melanie Lebouef said in a press release. “The exhibit will draw people from throughout Louisiana and Texas, but will be of special interest for Opelousas area residents.”

Through the exhibit, you can explore people, places and events that contributed to a renaissance of zydeco music and culture.

The traveling portion of the exhibit, which will be available for loan to other organizations across the state, will be set up for viewing at the annual Zydeco Breakfast in Opelousas scheduled for September 5, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. under the oak trees surrounding the historic St. Landry Parish Courthouse. This year, festival goers and music lovers will experience the sounds of Wayne & Same Ol 2-Step.

The Zydeco Breakfast is held in conjunction with the Original Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Music Festival in Plaisance, which celebrates its 33rd year. This year, the festival pays tribute to the late John Delafose, and features Geno Delafose and French Rockin’ Boogie, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, Lil Nate and Zydeco Big Timers, Leon Chavis, and many others.

The zydeco exhibit will be displayed in the Jarrell House of the Vieux Village Welcome Center in Opelousas at 828 E Landry St. The Center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sat, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

For more information, call 337-948-6263.