Cypress Pointe – McCrea, Louisiana
The Celebration of Life was held on the banks of the Atchafalaya River at the Cypress Pointe Plantation in McCrea, Louisiana. The plantation is situated between the fast-moving river and an inland, earthen levee which protects the residential community and farmland nearby. The festival promoters leased the 500-acre soybean plantation for $20,000 in June 1971 after being evicted from two previous sites.
The stage was erected in the soybean fields, which were off-season at the time, while campgrounds were set up along the levee and surrounding areas. Most spent their time down by the Atchafalaya, where overheated festival-goers either waded close to the shore or braved the swift, dangerous currents further out. Although traces of the festival remained for years after the event, today any evidence of the festival is gone. Since the festival, Cypress Pointe was sold to a new owner who switched from soybeans to wheat.
McCrea is a small unincorporated community alongside Louisiana Highway 417 in Pointe Coupee Parish. Before the Celebration of Life, it was best known as the site of the final levee breach during the Great Flood of 1927, the most destructive river flood in the history of the United States. The May 1927 breach at McCrea forced 10,000 people from their homes in Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge, Iberville and Assumption Parishes.