Catfish Festival hopes to lure more visitors in June
Tasty catfish, rides and free music on agenda
Of course, the soaring rides, Cajun music, eating contest, catfish skinning exhibitions and local crafts add their share of fun to the experience each year.
The festival has taken place in July for more than 35 years, but was moved to the weekend of June 22 in a bid to increase attendance.
"The festival was moved for a few reasons, the first to be ahead of the Fourth of July weekend," Kurt Dempster, chairman of the Catfish Festival, said. "We are hoping for a little less rain, a little cooler weather and hoping to attract a larger crowd being we are before the fourth."
The festival kicks off on Friday, June 22 when the gates open to the St. Gertrude The Great Catholic Church fairgrounds at 5 p.m. The event boasts a great lineup of bands this year, including Aaron Foret, Seabrook, Blue Eyed Soul Revue, Ronnie McDowell, South Down, Chris Gray, Jo-EL Sonnier and Lance Caruso & T’Canaille Cajun Band.
The event has free parking and admission.
Along with all things catfish, visitors will get to sample jambalaya, shrimp po-boys, soft shell crab po-boys, fried crab claws and fried egg rolls. That’s in addition to the regular fair food like hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken nuggets, nachos, chili Fritos, funnel cakes, snoballs and homemade candy.
As far as the rides are concerned, fest goers can purchase $25 bands each day so that they can ride the attractions as many times as they please. For $55, riders can purchase a mega band that offers admission to all rides throughout the weekend.
Several vendors will also be on hand to sell specialty items. Crafts typically include leather goods, woodwork, jewelry, purses, art paintings, airbrushing and more. Three monster trucks will be on display every day during the fest.
But the festival isn’t just about food, fun and music. Saturday morning at 7 a.m. runners will get the chance to race in both a 5K and one-mile fun run. The one-mile run begins at 7 a.m., while the 5K starts at 7:30 a.m.
The entry fee is $25 and all men, women, kids and walkers are welcome and can register on race day or during the festival.
All proceeds benefit the Catfish Festival and participants may pick up race numbers on the day of the race.
For more information on either race, contact Debbie Tregle at (985)758-2988.
Times for the festival are: Friday, June 22 from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m., Saturday, June 23 from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m., and Sunday, June 24 from 10:30 a.m. until 8 p.m.
"We have been a community attraction for over 36 years. This is the 37th festival and every year it has grown in size," Dempster said. "It’s a family-oriented festival with the best home-cooked foods and a sweet booth with the most delicious baked goods from recipes of the past. We have rides, games and continuous music from Friday afternoon to Sunday night with no gate fee.
"We also serve fresh seafood that’s prepared daily. It’s just an attraction where people of any age can have a wonderful weekend."
For more information, and to see a complete schedule, visit the festival’s website at www.louisianacatfishfestival.com.
All proceeds go to St. Gertrude The Great Catholic Church and the Archdiocese. The church is located at 17292 Hwy. 631 in Des Allemands.
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