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New Iberia celebrates Spanish culture during annual gala

Posted at 10:29 PM, May 22, 2021

La Asociación Española de Nueva Iberia (LAENI) is holding its annual Spanish Gala Saturday at the Sliman Theatre on E. Main St.

The gala features gourmet foods from area restaurants, live and silent auctions, and entertainment by New Iberia recording artist Keely Brennan.

Because of COVID-19, LAENI and the City of New Iberia decided it would be best to cancel this year's Spanish Festival, which was originally scheduled for April 16-18. They decided, however, to proceed with the annual Spanish Gala.

"It's that time of year where Iberia Parish celebrates its Spanish culture and heritage," said Brinkley Lopez, LAENI vice president.

Those at the gala were able to meet the Spanish King & Queen, participate in a Spanish costume party/contest, and meet Spanish descendants. There were also several Spanish genealogy displays.

Organizers say the event helps keep the city's Spanish culture strong.

"The main thing is keeping Spanish alive. Their ancestry, the culture in New Iberia. We are not just French down here in South Louisiana, we do have some Spanish," said Lopez and LAENI member James Migues, laughing.

La Asociación Española de Nueva Iberia is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that serves as a vehicle for the recognition and promotion of the Spanish culture and ancestry in New Iberia and throughout Louisiana. The organization directs programs and activities involving educational, culinary, music, and art exchanges while creating awareness and a deeper understanding of the local Spanish heritage.

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