73rd International Rice festival - a huge success
By Paula Gary Guillory
The 73rd International Rice Festival weekend is finally over and the 74th is 363 days away and counting.
According to the Rice Festival Chairman, Gene Williams, “the festival weekend was a great success.” The official website received 2.4 million hits during the 30 days preceding the event.
Friday night attracted a record crowd with headlining entertainment from The Chee Weez and Crowley native, Wayne Toups. Williams also commented on the crowd that Midnight Star drew on Saturday night saying that “they put on a great performance.”
There was a decrease in alcohol sales and mega pass sales from last year’s number and Williams attributes this “to the economic status because the people were definitely there, we had huge crowds.”
According the Chief of Police, K.P. Gibson, some festivalgoers may have had a little too much fun. His force had 12 arrests throughout the weekend. These unlawful acts included fighting, one narcotics arrest and remaining after being forbidden. Gibson summarized it this way, “it was a rough weekend, but nothing too out of the ordinary (last year’s arrests total was ten) and it certainly could have been a lot worse.”
Williams said that he would like to thank and commend K.P. and the Crowley Police Department for the wonderful job they did throughout the festival.
He also wishes to thank the festival volunteers, Jody Viator and the Crowley Fire Department, the city workers and Mayor Greg Jones “because without them this weekend would not be possible.”
Overall, the weekend was enjoyed by everyone. There was great music to be heard and a great time to be had. There were beauties crowned, memories made and most importantly the rice and agricultural industry along with our rich culture and heritage was celebrated and promoted, by the community as well as internationally.