New interpretive signage at Le Vieux Village Heritage Park and Museum, will help create a more enhanced experience for visitors. The new signage includes a QR code which links mobile phone users to the city website where additional history and digital photos of the village can be viewed. In addition, the new digital tool allows visitors to be able to read about the buildings at Le Vieux Village in French.
Managed by the City of Opelousas Tourism where it was established in 1988, the buildings at the village date as far back as the late 18th and mid-19th century. Located at the eastern entrance of the city along Vine and Landry Streets, the village offers a picturesque glimpse of early rural life in Louisiana and serves as a strong example of preservation. Nearly all of the structures have been adapted for reuse such as the Opelousas Tourist Information Center, LaChapelle House, St. Joseph’s Chapel and the Louisiana Orphan Train Museum. Each year, thousands of people visit the village.
“The development of new signage and digital components for this historic attraction is important to the community as it helps share and promote the history of Opelousas and St. Landry Parish,” said Mayor Julius Alsandor.
A total of 18 new signs along with the digital enhancements were made possible through a state Certified Local Government grant in the amount of $9300 which was awarded to Opelousas Tourism and Main Street Office. Local businesses were utilized for the project work and project materials. These included Andrepont Printing, Page 50 digital marketing, Kalaco Solutions, L&K Handyman Services, Greg Brandl Landscaping and St. Landry Lumber.
“This project is part of ongoing efforts to highlight our area’s distinct culture as well as preserve and promote our historic assets for both visitors and residents,” said Melanie Lebouef, Opelousas Tourism & Main Street Manager. The project is also part of a broader effort to create a more inviting city entrance, which is part of the Downtown Master Plan which was adopted in August 2021 by the Opelousas City Council.
The Certified Local Grant is administered through the Louisiana Office of Historic Preservation and funded through the National Park Service. Throughout the years, Opelousas Main Street has been awarded over $40,000 in Certified Local Grant funding. The grants have funded projects such as Historic District Walking Tour Guides, an exhibit for the Old General Store inside the Andrepont Store at Le Vieux Village, a six panel Zydeco Music Exhibit, Historic District Street sign toppers, pedestrian kiosks and digital enhancements for the city website.