Acadiana 365’s Weekend Picks

Highlights from this weekend's myriad of fall events include Blackpot Festival at Acadiana Village, the Downtown Zombie Walk, and UL's SMART Festival.

Here are a handful of the select events happening around Acadiana this weekend. For further details on these events and many more visit Acadiana365.com.

Blackpot Festival

Cedric Watson and Corey Ledet at Blackpot Festival

The South Louisiana Black Pot Festival & Cookoff is one of the most unique festivals in Louisiana. Held annually at Lafayettes Acadian Village, the festival celebrates its fifth year this fall with two days of music, dancing, food, camping and more. The festival is a cooperative of South Louisiana musicians, artists and southern culture enthusiasts, creating an unprecedented gathering of South Louisiana's biggest roots bands, as well as a number of groups from all over the country.

Live performances range from Cajun & Zydeco, to Creole, Swing, Hot Jazz, Blues, Bluegrass, Americana, Irish and Old-Time. Plus, an old-fashioned black pot cook-off, accordion contest, called square dancing, and ample camping space for tents and RVs.

The Blackpot Festival will be held on Friday, Oct. 25 and Saturday, Oct. 26, at Acadian Village, located at 200 Greeleaf Drive. Tickets are $20 for Friday and $30 for Saturday, which includes free tasting of all cook-off foods. Children under 12 get in for free. For more information visit BlackpotFestival.com.

SMART Festival

UL Lafayette is teaming up with the LITE Center and University Art Museum to present the first ever "Science Meets ART" (SMART) Festival. The festival will be held on Friday, Oct. 25, and Saturday, Oct. 26 and will be located at both LITE Center and the University Art Museum. This family-friendly event focuses on the interdependence between art and science in our lives and is free and open to the public.

Friday's lineup begins at 6 p.m., with a performance of electronic music. Robert Skinner and Juliette Loup of the University of New Orleans will present "The Science and Music of the Theremin." The theremin, an electronic musical instrument, is played without the musician touching the device. Instead, the performer moves his or her hands near two metal antennas to produce sound. Then Lawrence Krauss, who is Foundation Professor of the School of Earth and Space Exploration and director of the University of Arizona's Origins Project, will speak at 7 p.m. on the topic of "The Hidden Universe: The Mysterious Allure of Extra Dimensions." His presentation will be followed by a reception and book signing.

On Saturday, the day begins at the Hilliard University Art Museum at 10 a.m. with a gallery tour of the exhibition Intimate Science, organized by the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, where faculty will discuss their projects with NASA's Earth-as-Art exhibition. There will also be an all-day special workshop with the Machine Project, a group of artists out of Los Angeles who will lead participants in learning to "read minds" and create primitive lie-detectors. Registration is required for this event. And from 12-4 p.m., the LITE Center describes what happens behind the scenes in video game design, art and animation design, film effects and 3D conversions unveiled by LITE and Pixel Magic. There will also be multiple opportunities to participate in exploration of the manifest world of Science and Art through hands-on demonstrations and talks on topics ranging from The Universe's dark matter to understanding the science of cooking.

For more information on the inagural SMART Festival, visit Physics-Louisiana.org/Smart-Festival.

CYT presents 'An Evening With An Encore'

This special event is the Christian Youth Theatre's first annual gala showcasing excerpts from their most successful productions. CYT is Acadiana's branch of a successful national youth theater franchise, working with kids to create a deeper sense of values, creativity, commitment and collaboration through the dramatic process.

Evening with an Encore will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m., at the AcA, located at 101 W. Vermillion St. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased by calling 337.258.2349. For more information visit AcadianaCenterfortheArts.org.

Boo Bayou Fall Carnival

Celebrate Halloween with a Fall Carnival for the whole family at Vermilionville's historic village. There will be plenty to keep the kids busy including old-time games, a picture station, costume contest, trick-or-treating throughout the historic village and live entertainment in the Performance Center. Boo Bayou Fall Carnival will be held on Saturday, Oct 26, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., at Vermilionville, located at 300 Fisher Road. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for students (3-18) and 3 & under enter free. For more information visit Vermilionville.org.

Food Day

On Saturday, Oct. 26, hundreds of Acadiana residents will celebrate Food Day, the nationwide celebration and movement toward more healthy, affordable, sustainable food and a better food system. It will be a free family friendly celebration complete with real food, local farmers, children's activities, and educational presentations related to healthy, sustainable food. This will take place on Saturday October 26 at Lafayette Farmer & Artisans Market at Horse Farm, located at 2913 Johnston St. from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Cajun Ninja 2.0

After its successful first run, the Cajun Ninja Competition returns to Rok Haus Climbing Gym and welcomes anyone who wants to test his or her skills in a challenging obstacle course a la Ninja Warrior for the title of Cajun Ninja, along with fabulous cash prizes of course.

The registration fee for the event is $45, with the event itself free for the community to spectate. Cajun Ninja 2.0 begins on Sunday, Oct. 27, at 11 a.m. at Rok Haus Climbing Gym, located at 109 Grand Ave.

For more information, find Cajun Ninja on Facebook. And for registration information, click here.