Louisiana Sweet Potato Festival Yambilee
Le Festival de la Patate Douce de la Louisiane
The National Sweet Potato Frolic
The Sweet Golden Yam has been something to celebrate ever since the Frenchmen, who established the first settlement here in 1960, discovered the native Indians eating sweet potatoes. Already tested by the Attakapas, Alabama, Choctaw, and Opelousas Tribes, the tasty, nourishing sweet potato became the favorite food item of the French and Spanish settlers, who in 1765, established a trading post near Opelousas. Thus the Indians, French, Spanish and Acadians, who later migrated from Canada, devoted their efforts to making the "golden yam" a prime crop. The yam crop is harvested in late summer and fall, thus the last week of October is the right time to celebrate a bountiful harvest.
The Louisiana Yambilee, Inc. is a non-profit organization made up of stockholders who meet annually. They elect a board of directors (presently 18 members) for 3 year terms. This board, under the leadership of their Executive committee, is charged with the operation of the corporation and holding the annual festival and all its functions. They employ a secretary, who cares for the day-to-day operations of the office located on U.S. Highway 190 west in Opelousas.
Board of Directors
1999 President:Linda Richard
Vice-President: Blaine Joubert
Treasurer: Benny Fontenot
Board Secretary/ Festival Coordinator: Sheryl Badeaux, Hals Beard, Al Boudreaux, Myrtle Deranger, Marguerite Fontenot ,Elaine Guillory, Lee Hampton, Ben Nele, Grace Nelson, Keith Normand ,Gerald Roberts, Kerry Saucier Dudley Stelly, Kenneth Thibodeaux
Lifetime Board Members: Claude Arceneaux, C. Kenneth Deshotel, Francis Doucet, L.J. Duplechain ,C.A. Gardiner Alfred Lagrange, A.B. Reed Jr., Earl Fontenot Jr.