Faith, Family, & Fireworks

by Janna J. 

Martin having fun with the crowd

If you are looking for a wholesome patriotic event the whole family will enjoy for the Fourth of July weekend look no further than Monroe-West Monroe. The Duck Commander crew invites you to celebrate our nation’s independence with them at the 2nd annual Faith, Family, Fireworks. This all day event will take place at the Duck Commander Warehouse in West Monroe. Beginning at 12:00pm there will be parking available at Academy/Willie’s Duck Dinner with free bus transportation to and from the Warehouse. The Robertson’s will be up to their usual wacky shenanigans throughout the day, so arrive on time to ensure you don’t miss a second of the action.

Si and Willie on the mic

One of the highlights of the day’s activities will be movin’ and groovin’ to the jams of good ole Uncle Si’s band Si Robertson & the Si-cotics feat. Marsha Robertson. America’s favorite family will also be available throughout the day for autographs and photos. Make sure to come hungry and participate in Godwin’s Watermelon Eating Contest. BBQ will be available for purchase from Saddle Tramps Cooking Team, because what is Fourth of July without BBQ? Guests will feel like part of the family once they satisfy their sweet tooth with one of Miss Kay’s delicious baked goods that will also be available for purchase at the event. Check out the schedule below for all the great events that will sure to make this holiday on for the books.


1:00— John Luke Signing at Ice Cabin
2:30— Si Signing at Store
3:30— Martin Duck Call Seminar
4:00— Kay Signing at Store
4:30— Watermelon Eating Contest with Godwin
5:30— Bingo
7:00— Si’s Band (Si Robertson & the Si-cotics feat. Marsha Robertson)
8:00— Store Closes
Dark— Fireworks

Parking is available in the lot at Academy and Willie’s Duck Diner, located at 125 Constitution Drive. Beginning at 12 pm, a shuttle will run between this location and the warehouse.

The crowd enjoying Faith, Family, & Fireworks

Don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs, Jack!

The Living Fountain Returns to the Biedenharn Museum & Gardens

The Living Fountain will return to the Biedenharn Museum & Gardens Jun. 17th- Jun. 18th. Be prepared to witness a unique display of grace, beauty, and poise. The event will be held in celebration of the recently restored ELsong Maiden Statue that was damaged in the tornado in 2014, a casualty of a fallen oak. It was one of the five large Maiden Statues that stand in the gardens.

ELsong Gardens at Biedenharn Museum and Gardens

After 17 months, the statue has finished being restored and was recently re-erected. Now the Biedenharn Museum & Gardens will have a special presentation of the Living Fountain sponsored by Patrick Electric, R-Squared Construction, and John Watson Landscape Illumination.

The Living Fountain is “A unique entertainment experience, where nature comes to life with an extraordinary combination of movement, music and live interaction. Each element weaves an enchanting tapestry in a stunning display of visual images and illusions. This is The Living Fountain, mesmerizing audiences young and old at a host of venues throughout the world,” says Atmosphere Entertainment.

“The performances are very popular,” says Executive Director Ralph Calhoun. “It has been over five years since the Living Fountain has been at the Biedenharn Museum & Gardens. I have had many people ask when we will have it again, so it is a delight to bring the Living Garden back to the Biedenharn Museum & Gardens this year.”

On Fri., Jun. 17th, three daylight performances will take place at 2pm, 4pm and 6pm and again on Sat., Jun. 18th. Two special evening performances will take place at 8pm on Fri., Jun. 17th and Sat., Jun. 18th.

Daytime performances are $10 per person and the evening performance is $15 per person. Shows will sell out fast so get your tickets now by calling the Museum Store at 318-387-5281.

The Biedenarn Museum & Gardens is open Tues. thru Sat. from 10am to 5pm. Free parking is available on three sides of the museum. The main parking area is located on Speed Avenue near the main entrance to the Coke Museum. Tour information, maps and tickets are available at the Museum Store located inside the Coke Museum. An unloading zone for buses is also located on Speed Avenue directly adjacent to the Coke Museum. Adults $6 Students $4 (Under 12 years old) Annual Pass $20 (a great bargain) Tickets may be purchased in the Museum Store, located in the Coke Museum building, at 2000 Riverside Drive (the corner of Riverside Drive and Speed Avenue).

6 Places to Find Gluten-Free Options in Monroe-West Monroe

by Jerrica B.

We all know that Ouachita Parish is home to some of the most delicious food. Our local restaurants boast a wide variety of flavors and cuisines. However, there are some whose options are limited. For those of you who have Celiac’s disease, gluten intolerance, or who just prefer a gluten free diet, there are several restaurants in our area who are happy to cater to your needs. Check out these great places:

chicken pot pie
Gluten free Chicken Pot Pie at For His Temple Foods
  1. For His Temple Family Foods (315 Wood St., West Monroe)

The beauty of this restaurant is that you can walk right in, order anything off the menu, and it is guaranteed to be gluten free. This place boasts a 100% gluten free menu. From their delicious chicken pot pie—made with gluten free pie crust—to their pecan chocolate chip cookies, all of their food is organic. Their goal is to serve only healthy, delicious meal alternatives to your everyday menu. This place is pick-up only, so it’s great for a quick stop!

Wagyu Burger
Wagyu Burger at Vieux Carre Gourmet Market
  1. Vieux Carre Gourmet Market (1623 N 18th, Monroe)

Satisfy your burger cravings here! This restaurant offers a gluten-free burger that is to die for! The Wagyu Burger is 6 oz. house ground with onion, pickles, American cheese, lettuce, and tomato all wrapped in steamed collards in place of a bun.

Cilantro Organic Bistro
  1. Cilantro Organic Bistro (1211 N 18th, Monroe)

This restaurant offers many gluten-free options on their menu. Most of their menu changes daily, but the delicious roasted turkey sandwich can be served on gluten free bread, and it is almost always available! Also, be on the lookout for their delicious gluten free peanut butter or chocolate chip cookies. Check their website for weekly menu updates.

Roma Italian Bistro
  1. Roma Italian Bistro (400 Trenton St., West Monroe)

People visit this restaurant for their amazing pasta dishes and Italian cuisine, but also for their casual, chic atmosphere. For their gluten free options, any pasta dish can be prepared with gluten free pasta.

Paw Paw’s Pizza
  1. Paw Paw’s Pizza Factory Buffet  (3426 Cypress St., West Monroe)

This relatively new restaurant in West Monroe has been making big impressions on pizza lovers throughout the area. They have a gluten free pizza crust that can be used with any of their delicious toppings. It is not available on the buffet, but it is made to order. Call ahead and check availability, though, because they sell through them quickly!

Pictures 008
Daily Harvest
  1. Daily Harvest (1105 Forsythe Ave., Monroe)

This restaurant always has healthy foods ready to eat. Call one day ahead to order gluten free muffins, brownies, or cookies! This gives the kitchen the ability to avoid cross-contamination and it gives you the ability to enjoy a delicious, gluten free dessert!



Gluten free cakes by Butter Bakery

For all of your celebrating and party needs, Butter Bakery, a home-based bakery, bakes and decorates gluten free cakes! They can do single or multi-tier for office parties, weddings, or birthdays. Try their cupcakes and cookies as well. Check out their Facebook page for a look at all of their amazing creations.

All of these local places offer great alternatives for gluten-free eaters, and they don’t skimp on the flavor! Give them a try next time you are looking for a delicious, healthy meal.