St. Charles Herald-Guide

Festivals reign this fall

Our View - September 27, 2013

The 2013-14 school year is in full swing and the high school football season is already a third of the way through. As of Sept. 22, summer has receded and fall is upon us once again.

Cooler temperatures overnight have brought some relief and it is now more inviting to emerge from our heavily air conditioned homes to more properly enjoy being out in the open.

It is only natural that the River Parishes’ biggest and best festivals are held at this time of year and there is plenty in store in St. Charles Parish and the region as a whole.

This festival season kicks off with the always favorite Alligator Fest, held at the West Bank Bridge Park. For 33 years families from just down the road to those from other states have been coming to enjoy the rides, food and fun offered by St. Charles Parish’s most well-known fall attraction. Given the recent focus on Louisiana-based reality TV series such as "Swamp People" and the bayou lifestyle, it’s no wonder that over 30,000 people are expected to taste a little of what the Parish of Plenty has to offer in the way of entertainment.

Only a week later the United Way’s Battle for the Paddle will be brought back for its 12th year. The Battle for the Paddle is a more culinary-based event and will feature jambalaya and gumbo cookoffs from some of the best cooks from the area. More than 100 teams will compete for the taste buds of the 3,000 festival goers who are expected to attend this year. Will you be counted in that number?

And just down Airline Highway in LaPlace the Andouille Festival is coming back in mid-October this year for a second run at celebrating their 40th anniversary. Last year’s festival was more than just rained out, but cancelled in the wake of Hurricane Isaac when massive flooding hit St. John the Baptist Parish. It is encouraging to see the self-proclaimed "Andouille Capital of the World" get back on its feet and our neighbors get back to near normal after a year of struggling that still isn’t over for some families.

So our suggestion is to get out there and savor the local sights, sounds and tastes and support the community. Don’t let that time go to waste, be sure to enjoy yourself and more importantly be responsible.

Have fun this fall!