Charlene Beckett, the chairperson for the organization, said the tour originally started after a grant was received from Louisiana Main to Main: A Cultural Road Show.
“The whole point of Louisiana Main to Main is to take a look at the main street communities as a whole,” said Beckett. “This goes across the state.”
The organization’s mission statement is to “collectively showcase our culture, commerce, history and our abundance of creative and natural assets and encourage road trips from one Main Street community to the next.”
Beckett said all programs for Louisiana Main to Main must be held during November.
“Each town creates whatever they want, but it has to be held in the historic downtown district,” she said.
Beckett said she got the idea to hold a cemetery tour years ago when she attended a conference.
“One person spoke about how they gave the tours in their town and I kept the idea in the back of my mind,” she said.
Beckett said one of the requirements for the cemeteries is that they be on the historic registry in the historic district.
“We’re very fortunate to have two- the Masonic Cemetery and the Old Catholic Cemetery- here in town,” she commented. “With those two, we have the uniqueness of both the Catholic and Protestant cultures.”
During these tours, visitors come face-to-face with live-action portrayals of those who are buried in the cemeteries. Beckett said, each year, 15 people are picked and researched.
“The 15 are divided and the researchers research the people and create an outline for the scripts,” she said.
The characters are all dressed in period costumes, to convey an accurate historical feeling. Live musicians, such as flute and accordion players, play as people walk from grave to grave. Tours will be given every half and hour, starting at 5:30 and ending at 8:30.
“We try to do everything we can to enhance the historical aspect of the event,” Beckett said.
For more information, such as ticket prices, contact Charlene Beckett at Abbeville Main Street.