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Fresh seafood delicacies big draw to River Parishes Fall Festival

By Jonathan Menard -   Nov 08, 2012

Thousands are expected to enjoy food, rides and music at the River Parishes festival.
Thousands are expected to enjoy food, rides and music at the River Parishes festival.

Fresh seafood po-boys, pastalaya, jambalaya and a raw oyster bar are usually enough to draw most to the River Parishes Fall Festival, but there will also be plenty of rides, games and rocking music this weekend.

The festival, which takes place at Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Norco, begins Friday at 6 p.m. and goes strong throughout the weekend. Along with the rides, bands, games and food, attendees will also get to cruise for art at the craft show, which will take place on Saturday and Sunday in the school’s gym.

The food, which organizer Cristalle Poche’ calls some of the best around, is always a huge draw. In addition to popular items such as the seafood po-boys and onion mums, there will also be charbroiled oysters this year.

"All of our food is centrally located so after you get the food you can go straight to a nice tent without having to worry about fighting through the crowd," Poche’ said "We have lots of areas to eat and even tables inside if people would rather eat in the cafeteria."

Regular fest fare like pizza, funnel cakes, nachos, hamburgers and cotton candy will be served as well.

Poche’ said the price of the children’s food is kept low, and that a full meal can be enjoyed for around $5.

There will also be several fair games available for kids of all ages, including Plinko, marbleized memory, football toss, ring a drink and flush the frog. Poche said winners will get to choose from a wide-variety of prizes.

The craft show, which will feature jewelry, yard art, sports items, candles and more will be open from noon until 8 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Sunday. Poche’ said up to 30 vendors will take part in the craft show.

"There is a lot of variety when it comes to our crafts," she said. "You can pretty much find anything you’re looking for."

But while the crafts will be a nice detour for many, most are interested in the music.

Band Camp, who specializes in hits of the 80s, will kick off the festival on Friday. On Saturday, 90 Degrees West and Off the Hook will play, while Vanity Roux, Weathered and Karma close out the festival on Sunday.

Another treat will be available for the children on Sunday.

"During our Sunday dinner, which begins at 11 a.m., we have a really awesome magician who will do a show in the cafeteria for Sunday dinner and then perform on stage after dinner," Poche’ said. "We have lots of free children’s entertainment throughout the dinner."

Sunday dinner, which includes gumbo, potato salad, bread and dessert, is only $5 per person.

The money that is made at the River Parishes Fall Festival goes into charities, including church ministries and the school, according to Poche’.

"We have the best rides and the best food and we also have a very close, homey atmosphere," Poche’ said. "This is a very child-friendly festival, but we also have our share of adult entertainment. We always have a very large police presence so the festival is also very safe."

Admission to the River Parishes Fall Festival is free. The festival is open from 6-10 p.m. on Friday, 12-10 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. on Sunday.

For a complete listing of event times and bands, see the ad on page 2A.

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