Cajun Prince draws huge crowd at the International Rice Festival Grand Parade
By: Howell Dennis - Editor
CROWLEY - The streets of Crowley were packed as the Cajun Prince, former Governor Edwin Edwards, made his way through the streets of Crowley for the first time in nearly a decade. There were no boos. There was nothing but admiration from an adoring crowd, many of whom were too young to even remember the last time that Edwards held office.
“It’s great to see him back where he belongs,” said Sandra Gautreaux who drove in from Lake Charles to see Edwards and enjoy the diamond anniversary (75th) of the International Rice Festival. “He still looks as young as he did before he was sent to prison.”
While Governor Edwards and his new bride Trina were the main attractions of the weekend, there were plenty of other attractions and other events that drew people from around the state and the country.
“This is the first time I’ve ever been to Louisiana and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Melvin Beard of Hemphill, Texas. “That was the longest parade I’ve ever seen and we are having a blast. We don’t have anything like this in Texas. I can’t believe it’s all for free.”
On Friday night, one of Crowley’s favorite sons, Wayne Toups played a three and a half hour set that had the Cajun Country Rice Stage located on the south side of the courthouse dancing and singing along to some of his well-known songs. Toups set included an hour of his traditional Cajun music and two hours of his self-created Zydecajun music.
“The Rice Festival in Crowley has always been my favorite place to play,” he said as his fans went wild. “It’s always good to come home.”
Country music superstar Tracy Lawrence highlighted Saturday evening’s shows with a solid set of his award winning songs.
Other musical acts that drew large crowds over the weekend included The Molly Ringwalds, Geno Delafosse, Kira Viator and Jaryd Lane.
Once again the people that work out of the International Rice Festival Office have outdone themselves and as of press time Saturday there were no major infractions reported by Crowley Police.
And once again the Cajun Prince ruled the streets of Crowley as a free man.