Down Home LA: Louisiana Rocks!

Various rocks found in Avoyelles Parish.
Various rocks found in Avoyelles Parish.(KALB)
Published: Sep. 15, 2016 at 10:40 AM CDT
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It’s no secret that Louisiana rocks, but there are quite a few Facebook groups being created to prove just that. More than 30 parishes across the bayou state have created groups based around a craze called “rocking” where users paint rocks with inspirational sayings and pictures and hide them across town in a state-wide scavenger hunt.

Here in Central Louisiana, Rapides, Grant, Natchitoches and Vernon parishes are involved, but the group with the most “rockers” is Avoyelles with more than 6000. Now, with as much popularity as its garnered in Avoyelles Parish, if a resident hasn’t heard of the movement, they must be living under… Well, you can guess.

“It started off slow at first, only about 100,” said Maci Vidrine, whose family created the Avoyelles Parish Rocks group after seeing a similar organized effort in Evangeline Parish. “Then it took off. No one expected it to get as big as it did.”

Vidrine spends afternoons with family and friends including Kelsi Ferguson, another administrator on the Avoyelles Parish group, painting and decorating their own unique rock art.

“It’s such a good thing to do for family time,” said Ferguson while painting a skyline on her stone canvas. “It’s good to sit down with family at the end of the day and who knew you could use a rock for that…”

This new Louisiana past-time got its bayou roots in St. Mary Parish when its founder, Amy Leblanc, decided she wanted a new art project with a side of good feelings as “lagniappe.”

“I got half a dozen rocks and wanted to put things on them” said Leblanc at a St. Mary Parish Rocks event. “’Jesus loves you’, ‘God bless you’, ‘have faith.’ I just wanted people to smile.”

She never expected her pet-rock project to explode into the rockslide of family fun that has now gone worldwide.

“I saw one in Singapore that had our Avoyelles Parish Rocks name on it,” said Kelsi Ferguson, referring to one of the posts on their Facebook group. “Someone took it to Singapore set it down and shared the picture with us.”

There are a few different accounts of where Rocking officially originated. Leblanc said she first saw the decorated rocks in her hometown of Missouri and took it back to the bayou state adding the faith-based inspirational twist.

There are other examples of similar projects across the country, including “Word Rocks” found on this California-based blog that dates back to 2010 -

However, wherever the movement began, it’s safe to say that Down Home Louisiana Rocks.