Créole Culture Day 2022

Welcome to our 20th annual Créole Culture Day Celebration!  Today is focused on celebrating, demonstrating, and honoring the Créole heritage in Louisiana and beyond!  Our theme this year is What’s Happening Today, so as you dance, eat, and learn, consider the impact of this history on the Créole experience of today!

The 2022 Richard J. Catalon Creole Heritage Award

The Richard J. Catalon Sr. Creole Heritage Award was first established in 2004, honoring one of Vermilionville’s first artisan-interpreters, Richard J. Catalon Sr. Shortly after retirement Mr. Catalon become engaged in his “dream job” at Vermilionville, where finally, he could talk about his life experiences as a Creole. For over ten years Mr. Catalon worked in the Mouton house and not only shared with guests his expert craftsmanship, but regaled visitors from around the world with the Creole history, often in his fluent French Creole language. He was known to visit local schools in furtherance of the history of the culture, traditions, and to encourage the Creole language.

This award honors contributions made by individuals who actively promote the advancement of the Creole Culture, through language, food, art, music, dance, Creole language studies, education, and traditions.

To date, seventeen local individuals have received the award for their outstanding contributions in the community and the furtherance of the culture, each of which meets the vision of the Catalon family by depicting character values as role models for the future generations, being involved with local cultural organizations, and are active ambassadors and promoters of the Creole culture and heritage.

• 2005 –Donald Cravins Sr                        • 2006- Herb Wiltz
• 2007- Deborah Clifton                             • 2008- John Broussard
• 2009- Herman Fuselier                            • 2010- Mary Goody
• 2011- Geno Delafose                               • 2012- Goldman Thibodeaux
• 2013- Willis Prudhomme                          • 2014- Rebecca Henry
• 2015- Paul Scott                                       • 2016- Paul Cluse
• 2017- Melvin Caesar                                • 2018- Gloria Linton
• 2019- Geneva Phillips                              • 2020- Darrell Bourque and Patricia Cravins

This year’s Richard J. Catalon Creole Heritage awardee is Tiffany Guillory Thomas. Tiffany Guillory Thomas (née Tiffany Guillory) is a Louisiana cultural and heritage language activist and promoter of the vibrant Creole culture of her home state. A gifted networker, with Louisiana C.R.E.O.L.E., Inc., she helps to advance the Louisiana Creole language, participates in and learns Creole at the Creole table at NUNU and serves in outreach and as Secretary for the organization. As part of Nous Foundation, she hosts the series Entrenous, where she interviews persons at the heart of promoting French and Creole culture and history. Tiffany is part of the group’s effort to document the revitalization of the Louisiana Creole language and serves as the bridge member between efforts in Southwest Louisiana and New Orleans, as well as a member on the Board. She is also president of the Francofous French club at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she studies French. Her vision is to see strength and unity abound in the several Creole communities of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast and that their enormous contributions to this state and country be celebrated.

Today’s music

Herb Green is a native of Lafayette and owner of Pucci Percussion, a mentoring program geared towards encouraging kids to make positive choices. As a professional musician, Mr. Green has performed with local and national music artists in various genres of music. He is passionate about the development of kids through education and the performing arts. He is the Youth Director for Gethsemane COGIC in the Northside of Lafayette and on staff at PARC Village where he teaches Percussion to kids considered at risk. He loves getting his students to realize their potential and helping them go after those things that promote them in life. Pucci Percussion: “Keeping kids In A Positive Rhythm”
One of the brightest young talents to emerge in Cajun, Creole and Zydeco (Louisiana French) music over the last decade, Cedric Watson is a four-time Grammy-nominated fiddler, singer, accordionist & songwriter with seemingly unlimited potential. Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole resurrect the ancient sounds of the French and Spanish contra dance and bourré alongside the spiritual rhythms of the Congo tribes of West Africa, who were sold as slaves in the Carribean and Louisiana by the French and Spanish. Cedric’s albums are a tapestry of pulsing rhythms and Creole poetry, and his live performances are unforgettable, all at once progressive and nostalgic.
Francis serves as the music ministry director in his home church parish of St. Francis of Assisi in Breaux Bridge for fifty years, along with several church parishes in the Diocese of Lafayette. He also serves as the music ministry director at Our Lady Queen of Peace, Immaculate Heart of Mary, and St. Elizabeth Seton, all in Lafayette, Louisiana. For over 30 years, he has served as the music director for the Diocese of Lafayette, Office of Black Catholic Ministries Annual African American Catholic Youth Congress. Mr. LeBlanc is a member of the Lafayette Ecumenical Choir, where he serves as an Assistant Director and a member of the Tri-Parish Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America. He has been featured as a Soloist with the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra.
Wayne Singleton, founder, lead vocalist and accordionist of the band Wayne Singleton & Same Ol 2 Step, was raised in Lewisburg, Louisiana; a community centered in the area considered to be the birthplace of Zydeco, Wayne has been playing Zydeco music since the age of seven.

Wayne Singleton & Same Ol’ 2 Step can not only produce and perform traditional and new Zydeco music, the band has also the canny ability to give soul and country hits a Zydeco/Creole flavor. The touch of nouveau Zydeco music has put them at a different level, without compromising their traditional roots.


Our Créole Culture Day is sponsored in part by the Lafayette Consolidated Government, the Acadiana Center for the Arts, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival & Foundation, the Vermilionville Living History Museum Foundation Inc, and Creole Inc.



Since 1984, Bayou Vermilion District has worked to beautify, conserve, and manage sites along the Vermilion, ensuring the preservation and enhancement of the natural, cultural resources for its citizens. The Bayou Vermilion District’s mission focuses on the environment and the unique culture of Lafayette. On the cultural side of our mission, the Bayou Vermilion District opened the Vermilionville Living History Museum and Folklife Park as a way to increase appreciation for the history, culture, and natural resources of the Native Americans, Acadians, Creoles, and peoples of African descent in the Attakapas region through the end of the 1800s. Through historic interpretation and conservation along the Bayou Vermilion, we strive to educate guests on the interactions of these groups and the connections between past and contemporary folklife, thus empowering guests to apply these lessons from our shared histories. For more information, please visit or