Thousands of people will head to Des Allemands to pay tribute to the areaís fishing legacy by enjoying a wide variety of tasty dishes including catfish platters, catfish boulettes and fried crab claws during the Louisiana Catfish Festival.
But the festival is about more than food. Soaring rides, Cajun music, catfish skinning exhibitions and local crafts add their share of fun to the experience each year. There are also eight bands set to perform over three days to get the crowd moving.
The festival has historically taken place in July, but was moved to June last year in an attempt to seek cooler weather and draw in larger crowds.
"It helped out, we had a really good year," Festival Chairman Kurt Dempster said. "We wanted to get ahead of the July 4 weekend."
The festival kicks off on Friday, June 21 when the gates open to the St. Gertrude The Great Catholic Church fairgrounds at 5 p.m. Food booths will open at 5:30 p.m. that day and Don Rich will perform from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
On Saturday Ruff-N-Ready, No Way Out, Aaron Foret and Warren Storm, Charles Mann, Willie T. & the Cypress Band will perform. "Swamp People" stars Bruce and Tyler will sign autographs at 12 p.m. on Saturday and a catfish skinning exhibition will begin at 2:30 p.m.
A magic show, ventriloquist and balloon artist will be at the festival on Saturday and Sunday, while Tout Les Soir, 90 Degrees West and Louisiana Road House will play on Sunday.
The event has free parking and admission.
Along with all things catfish, visitors will get to sample pastalaya, seafood gumbo and shrimp po-boys. Thatís in addition to the regular fair food like hot dogs, hamburgers, fried onion sticks, chicken strips, nachos, snoballs, homemade hog cracklins and homemade candy and cakes.
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.
Dempster said the festival is an enjoyable experience for families every year and that the food and cold beer canít be beat.
"Weíve got the best catfish, thatís for sure. We are one of the only festivals that prepares its own food on the grounds - everything is home cooked," Dempster said. "We also have the best cold beer in town."
Festival hours will be 5 p.m. - 11 p.m. on Friday, June 21, 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. on Saturday, June 22 and 10:30 a.m. - 8 a.m. on Sunday, June 23.
For more information, and to see a complete schedule, visit the festivalís website at www.louisianacatfishfestival.com or see the ad on page 2A.
All proceeds go to St. Gertrude The Great Catholic Church and the Archdiocese. The church is located at 17292 Hwy. 631 in Des Allemands.
|Fest visitors 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.|