When October came around, and it finally started to cool off in New Orleans, the festival season came in HOT! The Centennial Team of Jean Lafitte and New Orleans Jazz National Parks have been out and about in the Parks, Community Events, and Universities the past two months, and here’s a little taste of what we’ve been up to– Enjoy!

In October, The Barataria Preserve Unit hosted it’s annual Better Health image (1)BaYou Event- A day of fresh air, sunshine, and free family fun, encouraging Louisianans to get outside, be fit, and be active. The day included games, live music, Ranger led walks and runs, yoga classes, healthy eating lessons, salsa lessons, and more, all free to the public.

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To help celebrate National Wildlife Refuge week, members of the Centennial Team, along with Rangers from the Jazz NHP, packed up the IMG_0712Park and brought it out to the Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, in Lacombe Louisiana for the Annual “Wild Things” Festival. “Wild Things” welcomed an estimated 5000 visitors to enjoy displays, presentations, and hands-on activities. This event featured the public debut of the NPS Centennial Band, featuring staff from New Orleans Jazz and Jean Lafitte parks offering entertaining and educational performances. We even got to host Rambo the Turtle at our info booth!

For Native American Heritage Month this November, The Centennial Outreach team had the pleasure of participating in a few different educational activities in part with our diverse Native Communities.

We ventured to the Islenos Museum Days Celebration in St. Bernard image.jpegParish, and shared with over 1,200 students (516 of them 4th graders!) how the Islenos people, and many other ethnic groups, helped to win the Battle of New Orleans.image (1)

While back at the JELA visitor’s center New Orleans, Ranger Chandra Teddleton hosted a free public film screening of the documentary “My Louisiana Love” by Houma Native Indian Monique Verdin.

Later in November, the Centennial Team joined Ranger Patricia and her Choctaw Youth Recognizing Our Roots Volunteers at the Jena Band of

Choctaw Tribal Expo in Louisiana. The Choctaw student volunteers spent a day freshening up on the heritage history and learned all about the Choctaws involvement in the Battle of New Orleans. They then dressed in traditional Choctaw clothing of the 1800’s set up camp, practiced firing muskets, cooking over a camp fire, and put on an entire interpretive program for local student visitors of the expo!

In addition to all of these outreach events, the Centennial Team has tabled for the Parks at the Treme Creole Gumbo Festival, and 2 local University Fairs this month in order to gear up for the New Year!

We’ve recruited over 40 new VIPs for both 1 time service days, and long-term volunteer/ internships for the Parks. We are looking forward to seeing everyone in action for our up-coming VIP Service Days with Community Partners, as well as for the Battle of New Orleans Remembrance Celebration in early January.

More on those events coming soon!