Duck Festival now underway

GUEYDAN – The Gueydan Duck Festival kicked off last night with the opening ceremonies beginning at 6 p.m. followed by the music of Joel Martin and da Classics.

With festival goers beginning to park their campers inside the Duck Festival Camp as early as Monday, this year promises to be another successful year for Gueydan’s signature event. For the past three years and four of the last five, the Duck Festival has been voted the Louisiana Association Fair and Festival Division III Festival of the year. Division III is for festivals that are attended by 25,000 people or less.

“The biggest thing about the Duck Festival is the heritage,” said Ronnie Lougon, the president of he Duck Festival for the last 20 years. “There is the heritage of the duck hunting and all of the duck events associated with this festival.”

The Gueydan Duck Festival is Louisiana’s only festival with dog trials, skeet shooting and the local and state duck and goose calling contest. These are coupled with the annual pageants, music and a parade over the four-day weekend.

The winner of the duck and goose calling contest will represent Louisiana in the national duck and goose calling contest in Arkansas.

For $100, Duck Festival lovers can set up their campers on Monday and keep them there all week long. All 52 camper hookups were rented by Monday afternoon, said event coordinators.

“We have a person who comes from as far away as Canada to attend the festival,” said Lougon. “He drives from Canada and then drives back. We also have people from Arkansas and Mississippi who attend.”

Today at 4 p.m., the skeet shooting competition will begin at the park. A host of musicians, highlighted by Richard LeBouef and Tavis Matte and the Kingpins, will perform tonight beginning at 6:30 p.m. and lasting until 1:15 Saturday morning.

On Saturday, the dog trials get underway at 8 a.m. and the Duck Festival parade will travel down Main St. at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Saturday’s musical lineup will begin at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and continue until 1:30 a.m. on Sunday. Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin’ Cajuns top off the evening at 11:30 p.m.

Sunday’s activities include a duck carving and painting demonstration at 9 a.m. with the skeet shooting competition beginning at the same time. The state duck calling contest begins at 10 a.m. in the Gueydan Civic Center.

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