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Brown Sugar Festival underway in New Iberia's west end

Posted at 3:43 PM, Sep 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-28 23:49:59-04

The Brown Sugar Festival is underway now on Hopkins Street in New Iberia.

The event began at 1 p.m. and lasts until 9 p.m. is Saturday, September 28th from 1:00-9:00 on Hopkins Street in New Iberia, between Field & Robinson Streets.

There's music, food and vendors. Admission is free.

The festival originated in the late 1940s and lasted a little less than 30 years. In 2018, the group Envision da Berry brought it back. They say it's all about revival of the community.

"I know the perception and reputation for this side of town," says event coordinator Anthony Daniels. "This is a great way to contribute to the rebirth and regrowth of this city."

Daniels says he remembers the west end and Hopkins Street when it was a thriving economic center for New Iberia. That has changed but Daniels says it isn't totally lost.

"If you want to make New Iberia better as a whole, you have to use more of New Iberia in order to pull it off so we made the choice to hold the festival here where we're from, where we have Da Berry Fresh Market and where Envision da Berry most its work."

Daniels says the reason for the birth of the festival is a historical one that started in segregation.

"In it's almost 80 year history, there was a time when people like me couldn't attend the Sugar Cane Festival so people on the west end decided to have their own from 1949-1966," Daniels explained.

"Many of the elders have told me stories about the streets being blocked off, parades, vendors, BS queen," said Carl Cooper Jr, President of Envision Da Berry.

Cooper says along with music, food, locally made products at the festival, there will be more long lasting results. " It will the spirit of entrepreneurship, connecting with family, culture. To get out again and revive the spirit of oneness. "