Travel Treasures departments
Nov/Dec 2009 Issue

Lake Charles unfurls tribute for veterans

Fallen veterans are honored annually on Veterans Day in Lake Charles, La., in a stunning display of patriotism known as the Avenue of Flags.

Now in its 25th year, more than 600 American casket flags will flutter in the breeze at the Orange Grove-Graceland Cemetery on Nov. 11 in honor of those who gave their lives for our nation. It has become one of the largest displays of memorial flags in the country.

Organized by the area Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) to honor deceased veterans from all of America’s wars, the Avenue of Flags began in 1983 with just 50 flags. Each flag represents an individual veteran and is the official “casket flag” that was presented to the family at the funeral. All flags utilized are either on loan or were donated for the event.

The Avenue of Flags tribute happens twice annually–on Memorial Day and Veterans Day–and each occasion is marked with a ceremony celebrating the lives of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

For more information,call (337) 436-9588, or click on

Avenue of Flags
More than 600 flags line the cemetery’s roads for the stirring tribute. Lake Charles/ Southwest Louisiana CVB photo


Exhibition offers glimpse into Jim Henson’s fanciful mind

The fantastic world created by the puppeteer and Mississippi native Jim Henson is yours to explore beginning this December at the Mississippi Museum of Art, and along the way, you’ll discover Henson’s fantastic mind.

On display Dec. 19 through March 14 at the museum in Jackson, “Jim Henson’s Fantastic World” offers a rare glimpse into the imagination and creative genius of the multi-talented innovator and creator of beloved characters like Kermit the Frog and Big Bird. The exhibition presents original artwork, including drawings and cartoons, as well as other objects like puppets, movie props, and photos of Henson at work. The exhibit reveals the brilliant mind of their creator, who died in 1990.

An artist, puppeteer, film director and producer, Henson created elaborate imaginary worlds filled with unique characters, objects, environments, and even languages and cultures. The early years he spent in the Mississippi Delta offered Henson the creative atmosphere from which many of his world-famous characters sprang.

The museum is located at 380 South Lamar St. in downtown Jackson. Hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m. from Tuesday through Saturday and noon–5 p.m. on Sunday. It is closed on Monday. The admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $6 for students age 6 through college. For more information, call (601) 960-1515 or (866) 843-9278, or visit

Jim Henson and Kermit

Above: Among the items on display are movie props and photos. ©John E. Barrett/ SesameWorkshop photo

Below: Muppets in the exhibit include Bert and Ernie. The Jim Henson Company/The Muppets Studio, LLC photo

Bert and Ernie


New Orleans Museum of Art focuses on amazing art of Disney’s animation

Calling Disney animation a cartoon might be accurate, but it doesn’t fully convey the artistry involved in creating the beautiful and beguiling finished product.

To experience how much art goes into animation, the New Orleans Museum of Art is presenting a special exhibition this winter that showcases artwork from several legendary Disney animated films. Opening Nov. 15 and running through mid-March, “Dreams Come True: Art of the Classic Fairy Tales from the Walt Disney Studio” features more than 600 original artworks from such classics as “Snow White,” “Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty,” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

The exhibit will also feature a children’s section celebrating Disney’s connections with jazz music and the Crescent City. The artworks, on loan from the Walt Disney Studio Animation Research Library, will be accompanied by film clips to demonstrate how individual sketches and paintings lead to a finished celluloid masterpiece.

“Children will love seeing their favorite Disney characters in a museum setting and adults will be taken by the technical skill and emotional depth reflected in these works,” said museum Director E. John Bullard. “It was Disney animators who really led the way in the 20th century toward establishing animation as a serious art form.”

The “Dreams Come True” exhibition cannot be seen anywhere else and is set to coincide with the premier of Disney’s upcoming animated feature, “The Princess and the Frog,” featuring Disney’s first African-American princess, Tiana, and set in New Orleans during the 1920s Jazz Age.

The museum is located at 1 Collins Diboll Circle in City Park. Museum hours are noon–8 p.m. on Wednesday and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Thursday–Sunday. Admission for Louisiana residents with valid photo identification is $8 for adults, $7.50 for seniors, $5 for children 3–17 and free for children under 3. For out-of-state visitors, admission is $16 for adults, $15 for seniors, $10 for children 3–17 and free for children under 3.

For more details, visit NOMA online at or call (504) 658-4100.

Cinderella animation image
The exhibit features an image of Cinderella losing her glass slipper. ©Disney Enterprises photo

Rendezvous with the frontier era at Petit Jean State Park

After you’ve pushed yourself away from the Thanksgiving table, watched your share of football on television from the couch and perused the mall’s well-stocked stores for holiday gifts, you might be thankful for the comforts we have today.

But after visiting the Mountain Man Rendezvous at Petit Jean State Park in Morrilton, Ark., you might be even more thankful for the modern amenities you enjoy.

In its 12th year, the rendezvous offers a glimpse of life 200 years ago in central Arkansas when settlers, traders and explorers had to make their way in a rough and untamed wilderness. Held the weekend after Thanksgiving, on Nov. 27–29, the event focuses on how people dressed, cooked, hunted and survived in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

Co-hosted by the Early Arkansaw Re-enactors Association (EARA), the rendezvous will feature living historians who will explain and demonstrate the skills it took to live on the frontier. Visitors will see how muzzleloading rifles were used and how tomahawks were thrown. They’ll be able to try their hand at making rope and peek inside a trade tent to see what items could be purchased or bartered.

While at the encampment, visitors will enjoy the beauty of Petit Jean State Park, which offers more than 20 miles of trails, a 95-foot waterfall, two lakes and many spectacular overlooks from Petit Jean Mountain. Apart from campgrounds, accommodations can be found in 22 cabins and in Mather Lodge, a stone and log building originally constructed by the Civil Conservation Corps in the 1930s.

The rendezvous will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free. Petit Jean State Park is located just west of Morrilton on Arkansas State Route 154. For more details, call (501) 727-5441 or click on

Re-enactors will demonstrate the skills it took to live on the frontier, like blacksmithing. Petit Jean State Park photo

Clinton Center opens up presidential treasure vaults

Being president has its perks, including the art, gifts, jewels and other objects they receive and use in office, and now, non-presidents have a chance to enjoy the bounty.

The William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Ark., has unveiled an exhibition that showcases presidential riches and relics. “Jewels to Jelly Beans: Treasures from the Presiden-tial Vaults” features more than 200 rare artifacts, foreign and domestic gifts, and other priceless objects from the collections of more than 14 U.S. presidents. It will be on display through Jan. 30, 2010.

Among the items in the collection is a letter written in 1801 by President Thomas Jefferson in which he discusses why presidential papers should be preserved for future generations. Other items include: one of President Ronald Reagan’s jelly bean jars; a framed piece of steel from the World Trade Center given to President George W. Bush; and a special section honoring first ladies with a collection of gowns from Nancy Reagan, Laura Bush, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others.

The museum is located at 1200 President Clinton Ave. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and students and $3 for children 6–17. Hours are 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1–5 p.m. on Sunday. Call (501) 374-4242 for details, or visit

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