Roberts Cove Germanfest Heritage Museum being prepped for festival

By: Angela Becnel - Staff Writer
ROBERTS COVE - Plans are underway for the upcoming Germanfest, being held the first full weekend in October at 7212 Roberts Cove Road near Rayne.

The festival encompasses genealogy, culture, food, beer, music from German bands and dancing. One can also find German people sporting Lederhosen, or other traditional German costumes. There is a gift shop, singers, folklore, rice threshing demonstrations and children’s activities.

This German community surrounds St. Leo IV church Parish. The pilgrimage chapel has a turreted steeple and gingerbread architecture, which would be at home in any German village. This is an ancestral home for thousands of citizens throughout the U.S.

It all began in 1880, when a New Orleans priest initiated a mission that was to change the agricultural picture of the Southwest Louisiana prairies. By the end of 1882, 98 immigrants had crossed the Atlantic to make their future homes in America’s south.

The Germans who belonged to the colony were devout Catholics. Eventually, they established their own congregatin, ministered by a German priest. Soon, a church building, rectory, a school building and a convent for the nuns who staffed the school had been constructed.

“The German people honor Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra in the third century, as the patron saint of children,” said Dot Leger, who grew up in Roberts Cove. “This year, the Germanfest will honor the spirit of St. Nicholas with a display of family heirlooms of St. Nicholas statues collected from families living in the area. Additionally beautiful music boxes are being collected.”

These valuable artifacts help tell the story of the community and its founding families, whose ancestors traveled a considerable distance by ox-wagons to worship in freedom.

At present, St. Leo IV Parish consists of approximately 500 parishners.

If interested, info@robertscovegermanfest.com is helpful, or call 337.334.8354.

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