Countdown to Tour du Teche V 168 Days
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Top of the Teche set for April 5

Top of the Teche, the first event in the 2014 Tour du Teche season, is set for Saturday, April 5.

It’s a 7.5-mile race for kayaks, canoes and pirogues from Leonville to Arnaudville in St. Landry Parish.
The event, which benefits the work of the Arnaudville Chamber of Commerce and the Leonville Volunteer Fire Department, is one of three races staged by Tour du Teche Inc., during the year. The other two are the Petit Tour du Teche youth races in Breaux Bridge Aug. 2 and 3, and the 135-mile Tour du Teche V Oct. 3-5.
There are other events including the Great Bayou Teche Dog Paddle from Breaux Bridge to Parks, a fun cruise with Fido to benefit St. Martin Parish Animal Services on Saturday, May 10, and a series of youth paddle camps, the locations and dates of which are yet to be announced.
In Top of the Teche there are six divisions: Men, Women, Mixed (a combination of men, women, boys or girls), Boys, Girls, and Mixed Youth.
The competition is for trophies and certificates. Entry is $40 per paddler.
For more information query This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

RACING IN THE BAYOU – A kayaker streaks down Bayou Teche in St. Landry Parish. The up-coming Top of the Teche is held on one of the most beautiful stretches of the historic waterway. (Ron J. Berard/Tour du Teche)

 



Bayou Teche Dog Paddle is Nov. 9

Breaux Bridge – This year, the Great Bayou Teche Dog Paddle, Saturday, Nov. 9, will be a race for kayaks and canoes as well as a fund-raiser for St. Martin Parish Animal Services, which operates the animal shelter and provides animal control.
The race is eight miles from from Breaux Bridge to Parks. Entry is $40 per paddler. Dogs get in free. Winners get trophies. Participants get T-shirts.
The inaugural Dog Paddle was a leisure paddle with Man’s Best Friend along for the ride. Dogs are still welcome, of course. Cats, however, are not.
Registration will be 6-8 a.m. in Parc des Ponts near St. Bernard School. The starting gun will be at 9 a.m.
The race ends at Cecile Rousseau Poché Memorial Park in Parks.
The event is a project of Tour du Teche, Inc., sponsored by Teche Federal Bank, Chevron, Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel and Shorty’s, Cargill Salt, Pellerin Funeral Homes, and Teche News.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (337) 394-6232 for more information.

 

TOUR DU TECHE SPONSORS YOUTH CAMP, RACE IN JUNE

BREAUX BRIDGE, La. – Tour du Teche, Louisiana’s premier paddling event, is holding a camp for young paddlers on Bayou Teche here June 24–28. And the following weekend, June 29 & 30, will be the second annual Petite Tour du Teche, kayak and canoe races for paddlers 5 to 17.

Both events will be held in beautiful Parc des Ponts de Pont Breaux, next to St. Bernard School.

The paddling camp is for youths 12 to 17. Younger kids may attend if they are members of a sponsored paddle team. Skills covered include canoeing, kayaking, bicycle safety, first aid and CPR. Sessions will be from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day. The cost is $200 per participant and includes lunch, equipment rental, and first aid/CPR certifications.
Registration closes June 21. Last day to register via postal mail is June 14. Any registrations after June 14 should be faxed or e-mailed.
 
Petite Tour du Teche is a series of short races for young paddlers from ages 5 to 17. Distances range from 250 yards to 1 mile. The longer races are done in legs, so that all of the action takes place at Parc des Ponts de Pont Breaux, where family and friends can watch. Prizes are ribbons and certificates.
The race is sanctioned by the United States Canoe Association.

For more information go to www.tourduteche.com or call Executive Director Nicole Patin at (337) 789-0319.

Major sponsor for Tour du Teche, Inc., is Teche Federal Bank, Chevron, and Teche News.

Fourth Bayou Teche Wooden Boat Show set for April 19-21, 2013

Contact: Roger Stouff
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This spring, owners of classic and modern wooden vessels of all sizes will converge on Franklin, Louisiana for the fourth Bayou Teche Wooden Boat Show.
What started as a spur-of-the-moment idea around a breakfast table at a local restaurant has become the fastest growing venue for classic and antique wooden boats in the Southeast, set along a unique venue in deep southern Louisiana in a city with more than 400 registered historic homes and a Main Street known for its charm.
Roger Stouff and Gary Blum welcomed the owners of 40 boats to Franklin in 2012 and expect even more during this year’s show April 19-21 in association with the Bayou Teche Black Bear Festival. Both are held on the grounds of Parc sur la Teche in downtown Franklin.
 “It was just a passing thought,” Stouff said. “The 2010 bear festival was a few months away and one of us said, ‘Hey, why don’t we do a wooden boat display?’ To this day, neither of us will admit whose idea it was because we have too much fun blaming each other,” he joked.
But that first show came together and a dozen boats showed up, three of which were from outside of St. Mary Parish. The show ran that Saturday only but as Blum recalls, “When we went to pick up our own boats Sunday morning, people were still coming to see them. We ended up staying until late that afternoon letting festival-goers see the boats and talking to them about the boats.”
What started as a hair-brained idea suddenly became a possible success. The duo decided to give it one more try, for the 2011 festival, just to “make sure it wasn’t a lark,” Stouff says.
It wasn’t. That year, 28 boats were on the bayou side and in Bayou Teche at Parc sur la Teche.
The success of that show cinched the deal: The Bayou Teche Wooden Boat Show continued and surpassed its record the next year again.
“How could we not?” Stouff said. “Gary and I didn’t start this because we needed something else to do, that’s for sure. We did it because we’re a coupla guys who own and love wooden boats, and love meeting and talking with other people who love wooden boats, whether they’re our guests participating in the show or the good people who come to see the boats. The common thread there is still…wooden boats.”
Both say their relationship with the main festival has been cordial and beneficial. “I think we’ve helped them by bringing in people who might not otherwise have made the trip from Oklahoma or Alabama or Mississippi down here to see this festival,” Blum said. “By the same token, they’ve helped us by helping promote our event and accommodating us whenever we needed anything.”
And word-of-mouth has spread news of the event. “Participants left here and praised the show and the city among other wooden boat clubs and owners,” Stouff said. “It’s a legacy. Wood is an organic material, it has cellular structure and membrane. It is, even in its cut, dry state, more similar to us as human beings than any other boat building material. It has warmth and a tactile feeling of life. From the first time primitive man crawled on a fallen log and floated across a lake or river, wooden boats have been in our blood. They’ve been around tens of thousands of years longer than fiberglass or metal boats.”
Blum said attendants at the shows were overwhelmed by Franklin’s southern hospitality, beauty and of course, waters. “Many of them had been here before,” he said. “And every single one      not only said they’d be back, but they’d spread the word about this community and this show. That can only be good for Franklin and the surrounding area.”
The two organizers have founded the Louisiana Maritime Heritage Foundation, LLC to foster and promote appreciation for these classic and antique vessels.
There is no entry fee for participants, and all wooden vessels are welcome. For more information, visit www.techeboatshow.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . For information about the Bayou Teche Bear Festival visit http://www.bayoutechbearfest.org