The theme of the 2015 Summer Reading Program for adults is “Escape the Ordinary”. The emphasis of the adult program is to encourage the joy of reading while fostering common family activities. There is plenty to discover in the state of Louisiana, in our parish and right in our own backyard! Ms. Donna Crawford, the branch manager at the Hineston Branch, put together a day-trip brochure that adults of all ages can enjoy and share with their children and grandchildren. It was such a great idea, the entire Rapides Parish Library system has copies that you can pick up and use to Escape the Ordinary! Below are just a few of the sites and scenes you can enjoy:
1) Kent House (3601 Bayou Rapides Road, Alexandria) – The plantation house is one of the oldest standing structures in the state of Louisiana. Standing on the original land grant from the King of Spain to Pierre Baillio II, it offers a glimpse of the French, Spanish and American cultures that have influenced Louisiana.
2) Alexandria Zoological Park (3016 Masonic Drive, Alexandria) – Founded in 1926, the park encompasses 33 shady acres, and is home to more than 500 animals. The African Experience and the award-winning Louisiana Habitat are two of the zoo’s most spectacular exhibits.
3) Arna Wendell Bontemps Museum (1327 3rd Street, Alexandria) – Dedicated to the life of a noted Black poet, author, anthologist and librarian, the museum highlights the life of Arna Bontemps and his writings of 20 books, plays, and anthologies; he also was considered the leading authority on the Harlem Renaissance.
4) Louisiana Maneuvers and Military Museum (409 F Street, Pineville) – The museum provides a look into local and national military history and serves as a reminder of the dedication on the part of men and women who served and continue to serve in our nation’s armed forces.
5) Southern Forest Heritage Museum (77 Long Leaf Road, Long Leaf) – A complete sawmill complex, spread over a 57 acre area, dates from the early 20th century, and has the most complete collection of steam-powered logging and milling equipment known to exist. Among the exhibits are 3 locomotives, a skidder and loader used in the transportation of the logs.
Browse the Louisiana Collection!
There are many fascinating and interesting places filled with history, packed with secrets and local legends just waiting to be explored. Your neighborhood library can help you plan your Louisiana day-trip adventures! Every library has a Louisiana collection filled with books, magazines, maps, travel guides, photobooks and more that can help you to plan other day-trips with your family. Here are just a few titles available!
Weird Louisiana: your travel guide to Louisiana’s local legends and best kept secrets by Roger Manley
Travel guide of Louisiana, edited by Ridley J. Boudreaux, Jr. and Mary Ann Boudreaux
Acadiana: Louisiana’s historic Cajun country, text by Carl A. Brasseaux; photographs by Philip Gould
Louisiana off the beaten path: a guide to unique places by Gay N. Martin; revised and updated by Jackie Sheckler Finch
Louisiana plantation homes: a return to splendor, photography by Paul Malone; text by Lee Malone
A history lover’s guide to Louisiana, by Mary Ann Wells
Rapides Parish: an illustrated history, by Sue Eakin
Make the library your first stop and let the knowledgeable Librarians help you discover some of the amazing sites that are waiting for you and your family – most are right here in Rapides Parish!