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CAROLA LILLIE HARTLEY
Publisher and Contributing Writer

Photograph: Carola Lillie Hartley Collection

A local festival that continued for over five decades was the Louisiana Yambilee used to promote the Yam industry in Opelousas. Born over a cup of coffee while Felix Dezauche and J. W. “Bill” Low were having a conversation in 1946, the Yambilee grew to be one of the most successful agriculture festivals in Louisiana, attracting thousands to the town each year. This photograph shows yams from St. Landry Parish being loaded on an airplane to be delivered to Jimmy Davis, Louisiana’s Governor who was a special guest for the first festival held on October 9-10, 1946. Pictured loading the yams into the airplane are left to right Pilot John W. Dezauche and J. W. “Bill” Low, Yambilee president.