Breaux Bridge – La Poussiere, the venerable Cajun dancehall damaged in last week’s tornado, is not only coming back but coming back soon.
Owner-operator Lawrence Patin said a “welcome home” event featuring many of the brightest lights in Cajun and Zydeco music today along with some of the legends is tentatively set for Saturday, Feb. 2.
Coming to the rescue of La Poussiere are the likes of Steve Riley, Geno Delafose, Wayne Toups, Jackie Caillier, Walter Mouton, and the list keeps growing. Check out the dancehall’s Facebook page for updates.
The multi-headliner concert, billed as a fund-raiser, makes it possible for the La Poussiere tradition to continue, said Patin. Not so much because of the financial hit as the emotional one.
“On Thursday, I was walking away from it, to be honest with you,” Patin said. “But with the outpouring of support, not just from performers but from vendors who took back inventory, and from customers, it was uplifting.”
Patin said he realized in a way he had not before just how much La Poussiere means to a lot of people.
Today’s La Poussiere was built in 1952 as a seafood restaurant. Thursday’s tornado did significant damage to the roof over the kitchen area.
La Poussiere was one of the first Cajun dancehalls to emerge after World War II, when the fais-do-do came out of people’s homes and into public venues.
It was established in 1955 by Patin’s parents, the late Ovey J. and Mary L. Patin. The original 1920s building had a hardwood dance floor laid directly on the ground, which gave rise to clouds of dust (poussiere in French) when the floor was crowded.
That building was sacrificed to the widening of Grand Point in 1975 and the dancehall moved across the street to the former Patin’s Restaurant where it remains today.
Legions of dancers and musicians alike will insist on it.