Los Islenos Heritage and Cultural Society – Los Islenos Fiesta 2017

FIESTA 2017 Scheduled for March 4th – 5th, 2017
Admission is $5.00 for 12 years and older

Los Islenos Heritage and Cultural Society will celebrate its 42nd annual Isleno Festival Saturday and Sunday, March 4th – 5th, 2017 on the grounds of Los Islenos Museum Complex, 1345 – 1357 Bayou Road, St. Bernard, LA 70085.  The Isleno Historic Village, situated on the grounds to the rear of Los Islenos Museum, will once more be the setting for a series of living history demonstrations featuring folk crafts, historic vernacular lifestyles and the cultural identity of the Isleno Descendants’ Community.  The Agrupacion Floclorico Hatacuperche from La Gomera Island and the Grammy Award winning group Mestisay from Gran Canaria will perform during Fiesta 2017.

Los Islenos Historic Village consists of seven structures.  The Coconut Island Barroom, Estopinal House and Kitchen, Esteves House, and Cresap-Caserta House are historic buildings which were relocated to the museum complex by Los Islenos Society.  Each building and the surrounding grounds will be utilized for displays which will include farming, alligator hunting, trapping, boat building, trawl making, basket weaving, Teneriffe lace making and quilting.  The Isleno Center will be the site of interpretive demonstrations examining the heritage and cultural identity of the Islenos and the region.

2017 marks the first time a folkloric group from an island in Canaries other than Gran Canaria will perform during the Isleno Fiesta.  The Folkloric Group (Agrupacion Floclorico) Hautacuperche hails from San Sebastian in La Gomera Island.  Colonists from La Gomera settled in St. Bernard in 1783.  Gomeran colonists carried family names such as Rodriguez, Menesses, de Armas and Barosso.  The group derives its name from the aboriginal warrior, Hautacuperche, who executed with other natives the Spanish Lord of La Gomera, Hernan Peraza the younger, in 1488.  This action initiated the bloody Rebellion of La Gomera against the tyrannical rule of the Spanish.  The name Hautacuperche is from the aboriginal language and translates as “the one who brings happiness.”  There is a statue of Hautacuperche in La Gomera.  Members of Hautacuperche will be dressed in the traditional festival clothing of La Gomera, play folk songs from La Gomera and dance traditional folkloric dances.  They will also demonstrate el silbo, a whistle language which evolved exclusively in La Gomera.

Mestisay from Gran Canaria will also begin its American concert tour by performing during Los Islenos Fiesta 2017.  Lead singer Olga Cerpa carries a surname whose variations include Serpas, a family from Aguimes in Gran Canaria that settled in St. Bernard Parish in 1779.  Mestisay has received numerous awards including a Grammy Award. The group has performed extensively in Europe and the Americas.  Its repertoire has expanded beyond traditional Canarian music to popular music and the music of areas where Canarians immigrated globally.

Los Islenos Society invites men, women, boys and girls of Canary Islands or Isleno descent to participate in its annual Heritage Program.  Genealogies of program entrants are shared with the public during the program as a means of celebrating our distinct Canarian heritage.  The Heritage Program is divided into three age groups: Senior (20 years +), Junior (13 – 19 years) and Islenita (5-12 years) and will take place Saturday, March 4th, 2017 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm.  For additional information or to register to participate in the Heritage Program, please make contact with Kathie Acosta at (504) 237 – 1009.

Those interested in volunteering and/or leasing an arts and crafts booth should call Kathy Serpas Ziegler at (504) 494 – 5848.  Additional information about Los Islenos Heritage and Cultural Society is available on the society’s website, http://www.losislenos.org.

Admission to Los Islenos Fiesta 2017 will be $5.00 per person for those 12 years of age and older.  The festival program is as follows:

11:00 am – 11:30 am Opening Ceremony
11:30 am – 12:30 pm Heritage Program
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Mestisay (Canary Islanders)
2:00 pm  –  4:00 pm Hautacuperche (Canary Islanders)
4:30 pm  –  6:30 pm At Fault
7:00 pm  – 10:00pm Category 6
11:00 am Invocation
11:15 am – 12:00 noon Mestisay
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Hautacuperche
1:45   pm – 3:00 pm Asheson
3:30   pm – 5:30 pm OVI-G and the Froggies
6:00   pm – 9:00 pm Groovy 7

Contact persons:

Rhonda Rodriguez Hannan
President/Fiesta Chairman
(504) 615 – 0322

Kathy Serpas Ziegler
Fiesta Co-Chairman
(504) 494 – 5848