Bucktown All-Stars, Molly Ringwalds will energize Catfish Festival crowd

While tasty seafood dishes are known for drawing thousands to Des Allemands for the Louisiana Catfish Festival, this year attendees will get to boogie to eight bands, including The Molly Ringwalds, Amanda Shaw and the Bucktown All-Stars.

The Louisiana catfish Festival will celebrate its 40th anniversary when the gates open on Friday, June 20 at 5 p.m. The festival has plenty of entertainment options throughout the weekend and will close at 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 22.

The Bucktown All-Stars will unleash their high-energy mix of second line funk and Motown soul on Sunday night when they close out the festival from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. The Molly Ringwalds are known for transporting fans back to the 80s by playing all of the top hits from that decade. They will perform from 9 p.m. until 11 p.m. on Saturday.

Other bands that will play throughout the three-day festival include Ryan Foret & Foret Tradition, Amanda Shaw, Shot Time Band, Ruff N Ready, Na Na Sha and Louisiana Spice.

Former Gov. Edwin Edwards, who signed a proclamation naming Des Allemands the Catfish Capital of the Universe in the 80s, will also be in attendance on Saturday afternoon and will pose for pictures and sign autographs.

The Louisiana Catfish Festival is held on the grounds of St. Gertrude the Great Catholic Church in Des Allemands. Along with the great bands that will rock the fest this weekend, attendees will be able to chow down on south Louisiana delicacies such as catfish platters, catfish boulettes,  seafood gumbo, catfish sauce piquant, jambalaya, po-boys and pastalaya. In honor of the festival’s 40th anniversary, food prices have been reduced from last year.

But the festival is about more than food and music. Soaring rides, local crafts, a country store and plant booth will add their share of fun to the experience. Children will find plenty of entertainment by taking part in fair games that include Plinko, a monster wheel game and a coin toss competition.

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 include airbrushed shirts, Native American art, woodworking items and much more.

The event has free parking and admission.

New festival chairman Wayne Guillot expects this weekend’s turnout to be the biggest in years.

“We are offering one stop for family fun and entertainment,” Guillot said. “We have some of the premier rides on the carnival circuit, some of the biggest named acts in Louisiana and some of the best food available.”

Guillot said the Louisiana Catfish Festival has a new board and chairman for the first time in nearly 15 years. They hope to market the fest to a younger audience, as evidenced by the many popular bands that will be performing.

This will also be the last year the festival will be held in June. Next year, the festival will take place during the end of October.

Festival hours will be 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. on Friday, June 20, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. on Saturday, June 21 and 10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 22.

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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