Author James Lee Burke’s famous character “comes home” to Iberia Parish, Louisiana, April 8-10.
In the bayou town of New Iberia, Louisiana, hints of Detective Dave Robicheaux are everywhere. From award-winning Main Street, which author James Lee Burke describes as “the most beautiful in the country,” to the Iberia Parish Courthouse, Victor’s Cafeteria and exhibits at the Bayou Teche Museum, Dave’s haunts come alive in Burke’s series of novels. Mostly set in Iberia Parish, where Burke summered in his younger days, his Dave Robicheaux series is popular with readers around the world.
This month, those fans will get the opportunity to walk in Dave’s footsteps during the first official Dave Robicheaux Literary Festival. Celebrating storytellers from Iberia Parish and beyond, the festival is scheduled for the second weekend in April and will include a Dave Robicheaux Look-Alike Contest, academic symposium with panel discussions, one-act plays and actor interpretations of scenes from Burke’s novels, an author fair and book signing and lots more.
Events kick off Friday, April 8, with Bayou City Jam, including a Cajun pig roast and music from the Bunk Johnson Brazz Band at Shadows-on-the-Teche from 6-8 p.m. A Saturday evening reception in Bouligny Plaza at the Steamboat Pavilion, Black Cherry Blues & Boudin, will showcase Cajun food and blues from Keith Blair Trio.
Jolie Blon’s Book Fair will take place along New Iberia’s Historic Main Street, between Center and French Streets, on Saturday, April 9, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Authors will be set up along the street selling and signing copies of their books, and fans can also stop in at Books Along the Teche for festival merchandise and signed copies of Burke’s books. Also on Saturday, Glass Rainbow Readings will be held at the Sliman Theater from 9:45 a.m.-4 p.m., with an author reading every 20 minutes.
Other events include a Neon Rain 5K Run on Saturday morning, a bouree (card game) tournament, showings of “In the Electric Mist” starring Tommy Lee Jones at the Grand Theater and guided Dave Robicheaux Tours around the parish.
Many events are free, but ticketed events are available through Eventbrite.