75th International Rice Festival kicks off to large crowds, cool weather
By: Howell Dennis - Editor
CROWLEY - The 75th version of the International Rice Festival got off to a great start Thursday night as cool weather, food and music kept the crowds in good spirits.
Nik L Beer and Chris Himel and Outbound got the music started off at approximately 7 p.m. as festival goers filled the streets. Late performances by Jamie Bergeron and The Molly Ringwalds kept the streets full until nearly midnight.
It seemed the only problem that people were having was trying to decide which stage to go to with popular acts The Molly Ringwalds and Bergeron playing simultaneously.
The nearly perfect weather is expected to last throughout the weekend and the crowds are only expected to grow today as Acadia Parish schools close for the event.
“We are expecting to have a very successful festival this year,” said Crowley Mayor Greg Jones. “I’d like to thank everybody at the Rice Festival Office who have been putting in so much work, the hundreds of volunteers that will be working throughout the weekend, the Crowley Police and Fire Departments for their hard work and mostly the people who have traveled to our town to enjoy our culture and the people of Acadia Parish.”
Today’s events are highlighted by the Jr. King and Queen competition beginning at 10 a.m. and the the Children’s Parade which begins at 1:30 p.m.
The official opening of the festival will be at 9 a.m. on the Cajun Country Rice (main) stage.
If the crowds from last night were any indication this year’s Rice Festival will be a success with former Governor Edwin Edwards serving as Grand Marshal in the International Rice Festival Grand Parade.