Locals night, parking shuttles, a new ride company and new alcohol options including craft beers and seltzers await patrons this weekend at the 2022 Alligator Festival.
The festival will take place Sept. 22-25 at the West Bank Bridge Park. It is hosted by the Rotary Club of St. Charles Parish, who uses the festival as the primary way fund scholarships for Destrehan and Hahnville High School seniors. The Rotary Club of St. Charles Parish is the largest private scholarships provider in the parish.
This weekend the festival will take place for the 41st time. The 2021 Alligator Festival was cancelled due to parish-wide devastation from Hurricane Ida, and the 2020 event was cancelled because of the pandemic.
“As president of the Rotary Charles of St. Parish, I’m thrilled that the festival is returning for the first time since 2019,” Brian Reulet said. “I can’t wait to see everyone sit back and enjoy the festival and feel a sense of normalcy again.”
Festival Chairman Eric Dishongh said that the Rotary Club has been working extremely hard to make this year’s Alligator Festival a success.
“With the pandemic and Hurricane Ida now in the past, we are ready more than ever for our community to come together for a good time and a good cause,” he said. “We are thankful for all of our community partnerships that make this event possible and can’t wait to see everyone at the festival.”
This year the festival will have the most food and craft vendors in its history – over 50 craft vendors and 25 food vendors. The weekend will also include live alligators, 10 bands, and amusement rides. All weekend ride bands will be $65.
Thursday the 22nd is locals night. Patrons will receive free admission and $1 off beer. The festival will be open from 6 to 9 p.m., and $15 ride bands will be available. Will Dempsey will provide live music from 6 to 9 p.m.
On Friday the 23rd the festival will be open from 6 to 11 p.m. There will be a $5 admission fee, with free admission for ages 10 and under. Ride Bands for the night will be $25, and the Matherne Brothers will grace the stage from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The Chase Tyler Band will play from 8 to 11 p.m.
On Saturday, Sept. 24, the festival will open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. There will be a $5 admission fee, with free admission for ages 10 and under. $25 ride bands will be sold twice for the day, with the first band valid from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the second band valid from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
There will be a slate of musicians taking the stage on Saturday. Faith Becnel will be on from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., while the Gordon Bradberry Band will play from 1 to 4 p.m. From 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. the Escalade Show and Dance Band will take the stage, and the Chee Weez will close out the day from 8 to 11 p.m.
On Sunday, Sept. 25, the festival will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. There will be a $5 admission fee, with free admission for ages 10 and under. $25 ride bands will be sold. Nonc Nu & Da Wild Motus will take the music stage from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Junior & Sumtin Sneaky will play. Category 6 will close out the festival from 6 to 9 p.m.
Parking shuttles will be available Friday from open to close, Saturday from 4 to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 4 to 9 p.m. The shuttle will pick up and drop off at the side gate on Dufresne Parkway, with three stops at the Dufresne Community Center, Lafon Performing Arts Center, and R.K. Smith Middle School.
For more information on the 2022 Alligator Festival, visit www.alligatorfestival.org.