Tour de Teche set for Oct. 5

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Get your canoes and kayaks ready. Tour du Teche, a 135-mile race along the historic Bayou Teche in southwest Louisiana, will be held Oct. 5-7.

The race will award more than $20,000 in prize money and dozens of paddle-style trophies. Participants will compete in a staged marathon through beautiful Bayou country and will stop to enjoy Cajun country hospitality.

For Tour du Teche III, the main race, competitors will paddle from Port Barre to St. Martinville on Friday, from St. Martinville to Franklin on Saturday and Franklin to Berwick on Sunday. Time will be taken after each leg, with the best overall time determining the winner.

Musical entertainment will take place in several towns along Bayou Teche.

Southwest Louisiana is known for its beautiful live oaks, meandering bayous, cultural diversity, people, food, music and joie de vivre. Bayou Teche runs through the heart of the region called Acadiana.

Alligators, capricious rafts of water hyacinth and towering sugar barges are special features of this journey through Cajun, Creole and Chitimacha country.

"What began as a through-the-night marathon for canoes and kayaks of all shapes and sizes, quickly turned into a three-day staged race, and five shorter races, coined 'C'est pas juste une course,' meaning 'It's not just a race,' for its juxtaposition of a canoe and kayak race with local culture and flavor featuring nightly festivals at each stop," said Nicole Patin, Tour du Teche executive director.

The following events are scheduled during Tour du Teche:

St. Landry Parish ( www.cajuntravel.com)

Music and Market (Oct. 5, Opelousas)

St. Martin Parish ( www.cajuncountry.org)

Tunes on the Teche (Oct. 5, St. Martinville)

Fall Festival - St. Francis of Assisi Church (Oct. 5 - 7, Breaux Bridge)

City Wide Garage Sale (October 6 - 7, Breaux Bridge)

Iberia Parish (www.iberiatravel.com)

SugarFest Classic Added Money Barrel Race (Oct. 5 - 7 - New Iberia)

Teche Area Farmer's Market (Oct. 6, New Iberia)

Shadows-on-the-Teche Plantation Home Arts and Crafts Fair (Oct. 6, New Iberia)

St. Mary Parish (www.cajuncoast.com)

Galatea Golf Tournament, Oct. 5, Patterson)

Tour du Teche is sponsored by Teche Federal Bank, Chevron and Teche News. For more information, contact Nicole Patin at 337-394-6232, info@tourduteche.com www.tourduteche.com