41st Audubon Pilgrimage is This Weekend!

March 15, 2012

For 41 years now, dedicated citizens of Saint Francisville have dressed up in period costumes like the ones shown below to host our annual Audubon Pilgrimage, celebrating the time when John James Audubon came here from France to tutor Eliza Pirrie at Oakley Plantation.  I have never had the courage to don one of those not so flattering costumes, so when I was asked to write an article about one of the homes on tour this year; I felt it was the least I could do to contribute. A few days later, I received an invitation from one of the country’s best-selling authors to accompany him to the Angola Rodeo here in town on the same weekend as my interview.  Considering I had never written an article for a magazine before, I took it as “a sign” to bring him along, figuring he could certainly show me some pointers! Thanks to him (read the article to find out who!) and Country Roads Magazine editor James Fox-Smith, it turned out quite well: Tales Tall but True of Woodland Plantation

Being a gal who only wears tailored clothes, I guess I have to claim vanity when it comes to wearing one of these outfits--especially the hats!

This year’s Pilgrimage features three days of festivities including historic home and garden tours, an antiques show and sale, a wine & cheese reception on Friday night and on Saturday night, a “Light up the Night” Soiree with dinner al fresco, street dancing to live music and a wine-tasting. For the schedule of events and more information visit: AudubonPilgrimage.info

In conjunction with Pilgrimage this year, the Historical Society Museum on main street features a traveling Smithsonian exhibit, Journey Stories. The West Feliciana Historical Museum produced a short video that chronicles the journeys in West Feliciana Parish from the time of the Tunica Indians and the French traders to the beginning of the 20th Century. David Norwood (of Woodland Plantation’s story mentioned above) and Janie Simmons (www.1-800-jane-eyre.com) wrote the script, and the video was produced by Sarah Powell. CDs are available for those wishing to take a driving tour of the areas mentioned in Journey Stories.

Hemingbough Antiques across from the Post Office will be open during Pilgrimage and has fine Audubon prints on sale.

If you are in our area, you really should come for the festivities. The weather promises to be fabulous and the azaleas are all in full bloom. Don’t miss Afton Villa Gardens which is spectacular as always! Hope to see you there!

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