Monday was a wonderful start to Louisiana's 200th year as a state. The event was put together by the Bicentennial Commission, the Lieutenant Governor's Office, and the USPS. The party was chock full of celebrities and talented people with Louisiana roots.
The luncheon at the Governor's Mansion was a tasty start. Chef Don Bergeron used local ingredients. Then our group bused to the State Capitol and entered the packed House Chamber. Most all of our state's elected officials were there. Jay Dardene was the MC and gave an interesting short history of the state. Michael Wynne of the commission spoke in place of General Honore. Monique Gagnon-Tremblay spoke in French. The pace picked up when Zachary Richard sang a wonderful song about the oldest tribe in Louisiana.
Interesting remarks were spoken by Political Strategist James Carville, Actress Faith Ford, Filmmaker William Joyce, Chef Paul Prudhomme and finally Jay Dardene read a letter from Journalist Cokie Roberts, who broke a bone the day before and could not come.
Finally, after three years of knowing that my favorite photo would be the bicentennial stamp, Anthony J. Vegliante, Executive Vice President of the USPS, unveiled a five foot facsimile of the Forever Stamp.
Deacon John sang, Donna Douglas (alla Elly May Clampet) belted out her signature shrill whistle, then Irma Thomas and Jay Chevlier led the crowd in You Are My Sunshine.
Afterwards stamps and first day of issue envelopes were sold as a giant Louisiana themed cake was cut. I'll be attending a few bicentennial events throughout the rest of the year, but mostly I can get back in my boat and look for another Flat Lake Sunset in the Atchafalaya Basin. Happy Birthday Louisiana!