Convention 2022

ASA 2022 Convention
“Un Mardi Gras de Fleurs”
Lafayette, LA • March 10-13, 2022
Convention Chair: Mrs. Denise Lanclos — Lafayette, LA


The Louisiana Chapter of Azalea Society of America will host the Society’s 2022 Convention Thursday – Sunday, March 10-13, 2022 in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Themed, “Un Mardi Gras de Fleurs”, the attendees will enjoy the Deep South’s “Floral Mardi Gras” splendor of camellias, azaleas, and Japanese magnolias in one of the most splendid Azalea Cities in America, named as the “Happiest City in America”.

Lafayette is excited to welcome you to Acadiana to enjoy our historic azalea trail and parade of historic properties. Located in the heart of “Evangeline Country”, Lafayette began as a plantation community called Vermilionville and grew into an industrious cultural mecca of French Cajun and Creole cuisine and music. The Azalea Trail began in the 1930’s as a neighborhood beautification project in Elmhurst historic district and as Lafayette grew, so did the trail. Our rich acidic soil and mild climate are what make our landscape so lush and beautiful. The historic parade of homes, schools, churches and parks are beautified with all the Southern Indian favorites. You will see plenty of the Lavender, Red, George L. Tabor, Pride of Mobile and G. G. Gerbing azaleas. The official flower for Lafayette is the Southern Indian Lavender Formosa, “The General Lafayette”, named by Mayor J. Maxime Roy in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette. Mayor Roy proclaimed February 23, 1938, as the official opening day of bloom season.

Convention speakers will be determined and listed in the convention program. Bring comfortable clothing and a good appetite to enjoy the tours and wonderful Cajun foods. We hope you book early and come “Feed Your Soul” in South Louisiana.

Hotel Information

The Holiday Inn & Suites – Lafayette North
2219 NW Evangeline Thruway
Lafayette, LA 70501
$95.00 (plus 12.45% tax and lodging fee)
(337) 706-8199
This is the hotel number. They will transfer you to Reservations.
Mention you are with the Azalea Society of America Convention 2022 and ask for their special rate.
Parking is free.

The conference registration fee is $250.
Refunds for cancellations are: 100% before Feb 10th. No refund after this date.

Thursday, March 10, 2022 — Welcome Reception & Plant Sales Begin

Bienvenue, mes amis! Welcome to Lafayette, LA. We look forward to “Feeding Your Soul” with our beautiful azalea trail, delicious Cajun French cuisine and parade of historic properties. Registration will begin on Thursday at 10:00 am in the lobby at Holiday Inn & Suites – Lafayette North. Upon checking in you will receive a name badge, the convention program, and a souvenir bag of favors. We will have speakers during the evening dinners on Friday and Saturday. Board members will need to arrive in time to attend the annual meeting at 2 pm.

We look forward to meeting you on Thursday night at the Azalea Welcome Social. You will be able to catch up with friends, new and old, and meet new members. The welcome reception will have an open cash bar. The azalea plant sales will be held in the ballroom lobby area and outside the hotel’s lobby area on the patio. The plant sale times are listed in the convention program.

Friday, March 11, 2022 — Touring Lafayette Azalea Trail & Speakers

Holiday Inn will serve a full buffet breakfast of eggs, bacon or sausage, hash browns, biscuits, gravy, and juice beginning at 6:30 am. Friday tour transportation will be provided by local private school buses in “Good Ole School Days” style. The buses will begin loading at 8:15 am and leave the front parking lot at 8:30 am sharp.

This day of touring starts in the Gateway Lafayette Visitors Center.

Photo by Denise Lanclos
Gateway Lafayette Visitors Center

The first stop will be The Lafayette Museum & Gardens at the Alexandre Mouton House. We will be traveling through historic and cultural districts and garden neighborhoods. Lunch will be enjoyed on the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s campus at the UL Alumni Center. Catering will be by Sodexo, the University’s caterer. Mr. Jim Foret, Horticulturist and Consultant Arborist will guide the university tours under the canopy of “Century Oaks” among the Encore azaleas to see Cypress Lake and around to the dormitories to view the George Tabor Azaleas and Rose gardens.

Photo by Denise Lanclos
University Century Oaks and Encore azaleas

The grounds at the historic Heymann house have beautiful Camellia gardens. In the 1930’s and 40’s this property was once the epicenter of the Heymann family nurseries that beautified much of Lafayette’s Azalea Trail. Mr. Dan Hare, Senior Director of Alumni Facilities and Special Projects, will greet us with a short presentation of the house and grounds. One of the fabulous architecture gems in this district is the A. Hayes Town House.

Photo by Denise Lanclos
The “A. Hayes Town House” at the Hilliard University Art Museum across UL Alumni Center

We will enjoy an Azalea walk around Girard Park Pond and ride through the Oil Center cultural & historic district. Early afternoon tours will be the Les Jardins de Mouton – Lafayette’s showcase of the “General Lafayette” azaleas, Bendel Gardens and Greenbriar Estates. A quick drive through Moncus Park and a short shopping stroll through All Seasons Home and Garden Nursery. The Good Hope Hall will host an afternoon Tea and Cookies in Freetown-Port Rico Historic District. The Glen Armentor Law Offices are featured in this beautiful location with plenty of Encore azaleas and red and pink Formosa’s.

Photo by Denise Lanclos
Good Hope Hall – Afternoon tea to be hosted by the Glenn Armentor Law Offices

Saturday, March 12, 2022 — Touring Jefferson and Avery Islands & Banquet

Enjoy an early breakfast and be ready for a full day touring some of the best gardens in Acadiana. Our first tour will be to Jefferson Island to see Rip Van Winkle Gardens and Rip’s Rookery. Mr. Michael Richard, Owner, will be the tour guide. This tour includes 15 acres of semi-tropical gardens on the grounds of the Joseph Jefferson Victorian Mansion (Circa 1870), which sits among 350-year-old live oaks overlooking Lake Peigneur.

Photo by Denise Lanclos
Joseph Jefferson Historic Home on Jefferson Island Rip – Van Winkle Gardens

Beautiful peacocks live on the grounds and have an elaborate Peafowl ritual each spring with their loud courtship mating calls heard throughout the gardens.

Photo by Denise Lanclos
Beautiful peacocks live freely on the grounds of Rip Van Winkle Gardens

The gardens include camellias, magnolias, azaleas, roses, hydrangeas, and many other native plants, bamboos, and hardwood trees. The Bird City rookery is home to over 260 species of birds, including the Pink Roseate Spoonbill and the Great White Egrets.

For lunch you will enjoy a private catered event at the McIlhenny family historic home, “The Marsh House” on Avery Island. Catering will be provided by Nel’s Creole Connection. This delicious lunch will include a cool summer salad with mixed greens baby spinach tossed in a pepper jelly vinaigrette and topped with tomatoes, purple onions, apple pieces, strawberries, mandarin oranges and feta cheese sprinkles. The next course will be a creamy corn and crab chowder served in a toasted cored out bread bowl. The final treat will be a warm bread pudding topped with a refreshing grand mariner cream sauce.
As we would say in French, “Bon Appetit!” Bring your good appetite!

After lunch you will enjoy a guided coach tour thru Avery Island’s Jungle Gardens. These gardens were created by Mr. Edward Avery “Ned” McIlhenny. In the 1920’s he converted this private estate into a favorite south Louisiana tourist destination. The gardens have historic bamboo and exotic botanical plants from around the world. There are hundreds of azaleas here as well as camellias. It is a wildlife refuge for birds, alligators and black bear and remains the botanical marvel of the deep south. Nearby is the Tabasco Bottling Factory.

The Convention Banquet dinner with awards presentations begins Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m.
We will be serving great food, buffet style; Ca Cest Bon’!

Sunday, March 13, 2022 — Optional – Vermilionville Living History & Folk Life Park

“Laissez les bon temps rouler”! Travel on your own and “Let the good times roll” at Vermilionville. Enjoy Cajun & Creole cuisine, live music and dancing! Vermilionville is a 23-acre historic and folklife park along the banks of the Bayou Vermilion that depicts the Acadian, Creole, and Native American cultures from the time-period 1765 – 1890. This historic village features guided tours, costumed artisans, live music, cooking school, dance lessons, boat tours, and a gift shop that will leave you overjoyed with history and culture. Enjoy the beautiful azalea entrance and courtyard at this location.

Photo by Denise Lanclos
Vermilionville Living History & Folk Life Park courtyard