You could feel the love Wednesday afternoon as hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the unveiling of a historical marker dedicated to the life and public service of Kathleen Babineaux Blanco.

Members of the former governor’s family were on hand for the event, including her mother, Lucille Babineaux, who pulled off the drape to reveal the marker near the corner of Iberian and Main streets in downtown New Iberia.

Also in attendance were husband, Raymond “Coach” Blanco, her children, several aunts and her sister, Priscilla Cadwell, who along with her husband John made the financial donation to the Iberia Preservation Association to pay for the marker.

Although a ceremony in memory of the state’s first woman governor, the event had a festive air, with family members and friends sharing stories and catching up as the Bunk Johnson Brazz Band played prior to the ceremony. 

Cathay Indest, a member of the IPA, served as emcee for the event, with Mayor Freddie DeCourt and Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser delivering comments.

Blanco’s oldest daughter, Karmen Blanco Hartfield, spoke about her mother’s faith, a gift she said she imparted to all of their family, as she introduced an audio presentation with the former governor speaking about her career and her beliefs.

“I know she is looking down from Heaven and is so happy to see us all together,” Blanco Hartfield said.

The Bunk Johnson Brazz Band led the crowd from the seating under the Steamboat Pavilion across Bouligny Plaza to the site of the marker for the unveiling, where members of the crowd and the family were able to visit before being led in a second line to the Sliman Theater for a reception.


Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at

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