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John James Audubon International Symposium
Two hundred years ago, a young businessman, artist, and ornithologist came to a tiny town in Louisiana as a tutor. Upon arrival, he wrote in his journal: “The rich magnolias covered with fragrant blossoms, the holly, the beech, the tall yellow poplar, the hilly ground and even the red clay, all excited my admiration.”
John James Audubon was not in St. Francisville for long, but the hilly, bluffed countryside and its wildlife helped to define his legacy. Thirty two of his famous birds from his Birds of America portfolio were painted in the Felicianas.
Honoring the bicentennial anniversary of Audubon’s work in the area, the West Feliciana Tourist Commission is presenting the first annual John James Audubon International Symposium. Friday, guests will immerse themselves in Audubon’s world, taking part in special birding tours led by ornithologists, as well as tours of historic sites like Oakley House—where Audubon lived during his time here. Saturday will feature the Speaker Symposium, bringing respected experts on Audubon’s life and work including Danny Heitman, Ben Forkner, Randy Harrelson, John Miles, and Daniel Patterson. Saturday evening, Oakley Plantation will host “Audubon Under the Oaks,” an elegant evening of Louisiana cuisine and refreshments under the property’s century-old oaks.
$50 for entry into Friday’s tours; $60 for Saturday Symposium; $75 for Audubon Under the Oaks; $160 for weekend pass. Tickets available at bontempstix.com.