Here’s a little more about the CFMA ‘Le Cajun’ Awards August 20-21, 2010.   I attended the Friday night awards and Saturday morning music festival.

Friday, Aug. 20, 2010

The tables were mostly filled.  The crowd was mostly middle-aged or older.   The opening prayer was said in French.  And the U.S. national anthem was sung in French.  This is a politically conservative crowd, and there was no apparent irony in a non-English anthem.   The 2010 Chapter Queens were presented.   The event Master of Ceremonies was Mr. Bob Moore, French-language news reader for KLFY-TV, Lafayette, LA. He is from Erath, LA.   The National Governing Board President Kenwood Walker spoke.   Harry LaFleur played ‘Amazing Grace’ = ‘Grace en Ciel’ on the violin as a tribute to those who died in the past year.  Ms Kate Marie Broussard of New Iberia was chosen as the 2010-2011 CFMA Queen.
The outgoing queen, Shauna Marie Cormier, made a tearful address, thanked her father, mother and sister and gave some advice to the incoming queen.  “How I was born and raised will remain with me.”

Jackie Caillier and the Cajun Cousins with Ivy Dugas played several times during the ceremony.  They were onstage behind a curtain, which was opened periodically for them to play.  They played the Valse de Heritage, Little Short Pants, ‘Tit Chemin Gravois, Biggest Fool in the World, and Jolie Cadien.  They also performed all three song of the year nominees.  Most numbers between awards were waltzes.   No one danced for the first few numbers.  On about the fourth dance, the floor began to fill.  At one point the national board present danced with all the past queens in attendance at once!  They lined up single file facing him.  One attendee danced with a cane.

Some presenters and some accepteed were in formal dress.  Many were in casual attire.   Common feature of south Louisiana social events, there were a 50-50 drawing and a cake raffle.   In the 50-50 drawing, half the money collected goes to the winner, the other half to the organization.  I’ve seen this at my daughter’s Catholic high school parents’ meetings in New Orleans.

Both days there was a cash bar, which served only when music was playing.  You had to catch ’em fast to get a drink or refill!  There was food sold:  gumbo, hamburgers, and pork stew.   The board president said something about moving from Blackham Coliseum in Lafayette to the Cade Community Center.  He asked for approval, with some light applause followed by a few boos.   The awards did fine but Saturday was quite crowded.   There were several arts and crafts vendors in the lobby, selling jewelery and other items of general interest.  There was also a CD table, with offerings from Swallow, Acadiana and some self-released recordings.  A dollar bought you a chance at an accordion giveaway on Saturday.

Saturday, Aug. 21, 2010

I arrived just before 11:00 am.  The parking lot and hall were quite full, with only a few seats available.  Additional folding chairs were brought out.    Geno Delafose and French Rockin’ Boogie played first.  Many people from Friday night were there and many more.  Many were from New Orleans.    Songs they played:  Valse de Cherokee, ‘Tit Galop pour Mamou, Matilda, Pine Grove Blues, Eunice Two Step, Belisaire, Bonsoir Moreau, Tu Peux Cogner, Balse de Bayou Teche, and Valse de Dernier Fois.  He sang entirely in French and played a mixture of two steps and waltzes.    The crowd was mostly older and mostly white.  A few young people were on hand, some to play with the Youth Band.

I left around 1:00 p.m. to return to New Orleans for an evening event and missed High Performance closing out the day.  No doubt a good time was had by all.