The annual gala to support the Bayou Teche Museum is still a week away, but the bidding wars have begun. For the first time, the event’s silent auction is being conducted online.

“We’ve been considering this approach for some time, but we were hesitant to change something that was already working well,” said Jerri LeClair, coordinator of the silent auction.

The move to a virtual auction was also necessitated due to some growing pains. The auction had previously been held in the portion of the museum that is currently under construction to create the Doc Voorhies Wing of the museum.

“Because space is at a premium, it made sense to try something new,” said LeClair. “The response — from donors and bidders — has exceeded every expectation.”

More than 100 items and experiences are available, ranging from a supply of grass-fed beef to a chartered flight-for-two over the skies of New Iberia.

Tickets are still available for the Jan. 30 “Night at the Museum” gala, which features a Mardi Gras theme for 2020.

Those who plan to attend, said LeClair, are encouraged to bring their digital tablets with them, as there will be no paper bids at this year’s event.

“We’ll even have tech support available, folks who will come by your table and help you place a bid, if you like,” LeClair said.

For those who want a more traditional way of getting involved in the action, there will also be a raffle for several items. The auction closes at 9 a.m. Jan. 31, the morning after the gala.

The annual event is a block party of sorts, extending from the museum to a portion of Main Street in front of the Sliman Theatre.

The event features catered food, a raffle, and a live auction.

The gathering is the museum’s primary fundraiser each year, generating funds for operating expenses.

Silent auction items can be found at, an online bidding site.

Would-be bidders can do a little real-world window shopping, too.

Some items are displayed in the display at the front of CrossFit Overhaul in the 100 block of East Main St., across from the museum.

Smaller pieces, such as jewelry, are on display at the museum for discerning buyers to inspect.

For more information about the event, or to purchase tickets, call 606-5977, visit, or drop by the museum at 131 E. Main St. during business hours.

The Bayou Teche Museum is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Thursday through Saturday.

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