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Event: 'The Old Mandeville Jane Austen Festival '

City Wide Events
Events Happening in New Orleans
Date: Saturday, March 07, 2009 At 12:00 PM
Contact Info:
(985) 624-5683 or

Why spend this weekend at home with a good book, when the weather's perfect for getting outside? Here's a way to do both. The Old Mandeville Jane Austen Festival kicks off this weekend for its second year in a row, and has a surprisingly extensive schedule of events and offerings, all designed to transform Old Mandeville into a Regency Era-inspired celebration of the revered novelist.

At top billing in the festival is the Perfect Love Letter Writing Contest readings and awards, during which wordsmiths and letter-lovers who have penned their prosaic professions of love read their winning letters. And for inspired youngsters, New Orleans teacher and poet Gina Ferrara will conduct a free letter writing workshop for youngsters in the Depot Building on Saturday at 9 am.

But the festival branches far beyond letter-writing. A few of the activities on Saturday, March 7, include a community market in old English attire (9 am), a "Meet Jane Austen" lecture and panel discussion (10:15 am; $15), a "Looking for Mr. Darcy and No Plain Jane" costume contest (noon), and a screening of the PBS broadcast of Pride and Prejudice (4:30 pm). These and several other Saturday activities are all based around the Mandeville Trailhead Cultural Interpretive Center between Girod and Lafitte streets two blocks south of U.S.190.

Then, on Sunday, March 8, programs include a harp concert (12:30 pm), a dramatic reading of a selection from Austen's work (1:15 pm), the readings by winners of the festival's 2008 and 2009 "Perfect Love Letter" writing competition (1:30 pm), a dessert reception and tea (3:30 pm), and much more, all based in and around the Lake House, 2025 Lakeshore Drive, on the Mandeville lake front, seven blocks south of the Trailhead.

Visitors are strongly encouraged to attend in period dress, so dust off your bonnets and top hats, and check out the several shops and restaurants around Old Mandeville that will transform into a bygone era in the spirit of the festival, which takes over Old Mandeville 9 am–6:30 pm Saturday; Noon–5 pm Sunday. Events range in price from free to $15. (985) 624-5683 or

All Festival goers and participants encouraged to costume of the era. For costume alteration needs, contact Rachel White, 985-674-8460.

Venues in old Mandeville are for easy walking and promenading!
Restaurants, cafes and shops are nearby.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
All Saturday's events at the Old Mandeville Trailhead Parking in commuter parking lot on Lafitte Street recommended!

View artisans and demonstrations of the era 9:00-1:00pm; to participate, contact Donna Beakley, Trailhead 624-3147.

Pastries on your own
Farmer's Market (Girod St.)
Calligraphy & wax seal demonstrations
Hairstyles of the Era by Jacqueline's Family Hair Salon, $10
Around the amphitheatre stage
Letter Writing Workshop
for youths, best for grades 4-7, No charge
by Poet, Educator Gina Ferrara
Trailhead Depot room
Festival Welcome/Announcements
"Money, Manners and Jane Austen" — Lecture & Q&A Session by LSU Professor Elsie B. Michie with an Austen overview
$15, payable by cash or check at the Trailhead Depot room entrance
Trailhead Depot room
Looking for Mr. Darcy Contest
Nominations weeks prior
Download submission form.
Trailhead Amphitheatre
Matinee: BBC 1980's Production of
PRIDE & PREJUDICE featuring Elizabeth Garvie FREE.
Trailhead Depot Room
No Plain Janes Costume Contest
Contestants arrive 15 minutes prior.
Trailhead Amphitheatre

Prizes awarded!
Meals at participating businesses:

Vianne’s, Royal Regency Tea, 544 Girod (advance reservations needed) Seating: 1:30-3:15 (985) 624-5683
Good Earth Market, Fish & Chips, 821 Girod St (985) 674-4329
The Rusty Pelican, Fish & Chips, 500 Girod St. (985) 778-0364
Kickstand Café, Fried Green Tomato BLT Sandwich, 690 Lafitte (985) 626-9300
Juniper’s Restaurant — Jane Austen Dinner, 301 Lafitte St (985) 624-5330
The Barley Oak, 2101 Lakeshore Dr. 985-727-7420 offering Bass, FullerŐs ESB & London Pride, Newcastle & Strongbow Cider
Louie & The Red Head Lady, Fried Catfish Dinner Special, 1851 Florida Street, 985-626-8101
The Pub, Lafitte Street, Beers & Ales
Nuvolari's Restaurant, 246 Girod Street; 626-5619
Lucy's Retired Surfer Bar, 100 block of Girod
Maxein's Coffee house, 100 block of Girod
Meals at participating businesses:

Shop & Stroll Girod Street:
Das Schulerhaus Gift Gallery – 528 Girod. All costumed festival goers receive a FREE GIFT for stopping in!
Mae Antiques & participating dealers – 420 Girod St, 674-5935, 20% off to costumed fest goers.
Arigato Boutique – 635 Lafitte, 626-8688, 15% off to costumed fest goers
Blowin' in the Breeze – 2117 Monroe, 985-778-0571, 10% off to costumed fest goers And more participating businesses, check this site for updates!
Regency Vintage Dance Demos/lessons
audience participation! By Louisiane Vintage Dancers. FREE.
Trailhead Amphitheatre
Then, enjoy Cocktails/Dinner — Cocktail & Menu items of the era at participating Old Mandeville businesses!
Sunday, March 8, 2009
All Sunday's events at The Lake House, 2nd Floor*, 2025 Lakeshore Drive

$15. Cash or check at the 2nd floor entrance (includes event activities and entertainment only, food & drink available for purchase)
Meet & Greet
"Letters from the Attic" Display

Welcome & Announcements
Praying with Jane Austen
Reading of a Austen prayer/Silent Moment

Brunch available for optional purchase $25. per person, includes unlimited delicious buffet by The Lake House!

Music of the era: Harp Concert by N.O. Celtic Harp Ensemble

Dramatic reading

"Perfect Love Letter Writing Contest"
2008 Winner Readings
2009 Winners announced, Readings
Applications received weeks prior

Patron Party*

Royal Regency Dessert Reception*
Festival Finale! $25 per person, checks or cash only accepted. Includes unlimited desserts and signature cocktails! Special guest — Meet the captivating Elizabeth Garvie, star of the British stage, screen and television! reservations 985-624-5683 Limited space! RSVP by Friday, March 6, requested.

*Handicap accessibility not available to the 2nd Floor. We apologize for any inconvenience