By: Brittany Racca
Making an anticipated return, the "Dave's Haunts & Jaunts" bus tour departs once more this year to traverse the New Iberia of James Lee Burke's famed novels. For those Robicheaux lovers who really want to see the area through Dave's eyes, the Books Along the Teche Literary Festival (April 3-5) is offering a guided tour to some of the real-life versions of key places in the detective's world.
Sponsored by the Iberia Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau, the bus tour is scheduled to run Friday, April 3 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Cost is $60 and includes lunch at Victor's Cafeteria.
To purchase tickets, visit BonTempsTix.com.
From 10-10:30 a.m., check in at the door of Victor’s, to collect your wristband for your included meal and tour. New this year will be a Q&A discussion with resident Burke expert Howard Kingston starting at 10:30 a.m. No walk-ups will be accepted after 10:30 a.m., in order for participants to have enough time to eat before the bus leaves at 11:10 a.m. Have your questions about the Robicheaux series or author ready when you walk up to check in so you can submit them for the discussion.
From 11:20 a.m. - 2 p.m., the guided bus tour will include the Burke Home, Teche Motel and more before enjoying refreshments with local artists at the festival’s art exhibit. The L'Acadian Art Guild's exhibit in the Iberia Parish Main Library (445 E. Main St.) features original artwork created by many talented local artists. Pieces will be available for purchase.
New this year, is a stop at Cane River Pecan Company. Chief Nut Officer Jady regard will be on hand to discuss his 50-year-old family business.
At the end of the tour, participants have the option of being dropped off back in front of Victor's Cafeteria (across from Bouligny Plaza), or they can choose to remain at the library for the Music & Poetry Louisiana Style discussion at 2:30 p.m. Those who stay at the library will be responsible for their own return transportation to Bouligny Plaza.
Each ticket purchased also includes a return voucher for a free tour of Shadows-on-the-Teche. Built for a wealthy sugar planter in 1834, the Shadows was home to four generations before becoming a National Trust Historic Site. With so much going on the weekend of the festival, Iberia Travel has partnered with Shadows-on-the-Teche to offer this free addition to the bus tour so participants have the chance to return in their free time and see the home Burke mentions.
If you can't make it on Friday, never fear: we've developed a self-guided version of Burke's Iberia tour, so you can download or pick up a guide to the 25 stops at the welcome center (2513 Hwy. 14, New Iberia) and explore on your own.
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