Around here, Spring brings the beginning of Small Town Festival Season, and I, for one, always look forward to it. These festivals range from tiny (like this one) to pretty darn big (the Ruston Peach Festival, for instance). Last year, I made it to Ruston and to one more: the Wildflower Trails Festival in Linden, Texas, which from what I could tell had neither wildflowers nor trails, though I’m pretty sure I was wrong about that one. I’ll get to that in a minute.
Anyway. The Jonquil Jubilee is held in the tiny town of Gibsland, Louisiana. According to Wolfram Alpha, the population is currently 947. I’m sure that at some point in my life I had visited Gibsland, as it’s only about 15 miles from Minden, but I didn’t remember a thing about it. My mom and I made the 45-minute trek over there last Saturday.
When we got there, we thought these few tents might be all there was to the festival – but we were wrong! The real festival was at a table in the middle of the street.
There, you could purchase a map and a wristband for $10 that would direct you to about 10 sites around town for the rest of the fun. There were some interesting stops, but I’ll get to those later. First, it was time for lunch!
From what I could tell, there were only two choices: this restaurant, called The Gibsland Grill, or a tent outside selling fried food. I figured we’d try the actual restaurant. The only menu choices available for the festival were gumbo, pulled pork sammiches, and chicken salad sammiches. I chose the chicken salad and was a wee bit surprised to get this:
I ate the sammich (first plain white bread I’ve had in a while!) and the chips but skipped the green gelatinous (I’m guessing here) pineapple. I obviously made the wrong choice. Also: I’m sure they offer better food when there aren’t so many people in town.
We also checked out the Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum – or, at least, the gift shop. It was a little…scary in there. If you paid them some moneys, they’d let you see the museum, which was behind a fake wall and, well, NOPE. I don’t dare take pictures in there because I was sure I’d be shot for it. Here’s my mom in front of it:
I took the photo before we went inside. Urgh. Turns out there’s a second Bonnie & Clyde museum about half a block away that appears to be owned by the city and looks much less terrifying. Also: far less interesting.
As a side note, there was a bathtub sale at the end of the street.
At that point, I think we’d both had enough of the downtown portion of the festival, so we put up the money for the map and wristbands and headed out. Our first stop was the Methodist Church, which offered a quilt show.
Then, it was on to the Baptist Church, which had some very interesting “Tablescapes,” a hobby(?) I’d never heard of.
Next was a railroad museum in Mount Lebanon, the next village over. They had quite an interesting small collection.
And then, finally, we found the daffodils. Turns out they had peaked a few weeks before (thanks, climate change), but they were still lovely and beautiful. We went to two flowery sites: Oak Grove Farm and a private residence. First, the farm:
And last but certainly not least, a private property near Gibsland.
After that, we had to head back to Shreveport. Sure, it was a gray day for a flower festival, but the temperature was nice and it wasn’t rainy. We both had a good time, and I definitely plan on going back next year. Hopefully the weather will cooperate more and we’ll have an actual winter so the festival timing will be right.