OPELOUSAS, La. - This year the City of Opelousas will celebrate 300 years of history, culture and traditions. To highlight this special occasion, a variety of events and activities are planned for 2020.
The Celebrate 300 Commission, which is made up of community representatives, was formed to provide input for events and activities that will honor the anniversary of the City of Opelousas. The mission of the Commission is to unite the community to commemorate the past, celebrate the present, and create the future.
Some of the activities that will take place as part of the yearlong celebration are murals, art installations, an oral history exhibit, workshops and preservation projects. The art projects include traffic signal box wraps, a petite fiddle art exhibit and art walk. Preservation projects include restoration of a corner sign at City Hall and interpretive signage. The interpretive signage project, which featured bronze plaques, was completed in May of 2019.
Also in discussion for the city anniversary are legacy projects, which will involve an art structure that would pay tribute to the 300th anniversary. A time capsule that was buried for the 250th anniversary is scheduled to be opened in June. Existing city events such as the Zydeco Breakfast held in September and the Lighting of the Le Vieux Village in December will be enhanced.
In promoting the celebration, the Opelousas-Opoly game board was produced as well as a commemorative coin. Both are available for purchase. In 2018 Opelousas Main Street unveiled a flag in honor of the anniversary.
The inaugural event for the 2020 celebration is a Unity Prayer Service, which is being held in partnership with the St. Landry Ministerial Alliance. The prayer service is scheduled for 6pm on Monday, January 6, 2020 at St. Landry Catholic Church. The service will include: Opelousas Community Choir, Holy Ghost Church Choir, and Morning Star Baptist (Mt. Pleasant) Church Choir.
This month, the first art wrapped traffic signal box will also be unveiled at the intersection of Wallior and Vine and Landry Streets. The unveiling is scheduled for January 14th at Noon, and will feature the artwork of Jerome Ford, local artist, and Visual & Talent Art Instructor for the St. Landry Parish School Board. Next month an exhibit featuring the work of Creole Folk Artist Rebecca Henry will take place at the Opelousas Museum & Interpretive Center.
The Celebrate 300 Commission is working with organizations, civic clubs, churches and schools in planning projects for 2020. Some of the partnership events include a Community Peace Picnic, Wine up at Le Vieux Village and a Kindness Rocks Project with JAG Students from around the parish.
For more information on Celebrating 300 Years, visit www.cityofopelousas.com.