Let’s get this party started!
The stages, the booths and the rides are all nearly set up and ready for operation — and the folks at the International Rice Festival Office are looking forward to getting a chance to relax and enjoy the opportunity to observe their finished product.
With some of the forecasts predicting rain for this weekend, there are many crossed fingers as well.
“I know that there is a dance that is supposed to bring rain, but does anyone know one that keeps it away?” asked a smiling Roxie Viator. “Festival is definitely in the air around here.”
With thousands of people expected to fill the streets of Crowley on Friday and Saturday, it will obviously take more than a little rain to stop this weekend’s party.
Crowley Mayor Greg Jones is looking forward to welcoming those coming in from out of town as well as the local Rice Festival veterans.
“I want everyone to come to town to renew their old friendships and create new ones,” said Jones on Wednesday. “I would just like to ask that they use good judgement and enjoy the food and the music.”
With returning acts such as the Grammy Award-winner Wayne Toups and Geno Delafosse hitting the stage, as well country music artist Neal McCoy and the Southern University Marching Band appearing this weekend, one would be hard pressed to avoid the good music this weekend.
As far as the food is concerned, all anyone needs to do is walk along the dozens of vendors that will be lining Parkerson Avenue this weekend to find something more than suitable for their tastes.
The crowning of the 77th International Rice Festival queen will be at 10:40 a.m. on Saturday, with the competition set to begin at 9:45 a.m. In case of rain, contingency plans would be to hold the event in the Rice Theatre, located at 323 Parkerson Ave., as opposed to the Cajun Country Rice Stage (main stage) where it’s normally held. Twelve beauties will be vying for the title this year.
The children’s parade, with Dolores Nutt serving as Grand Marshal, is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Friday. District 42 State Rep. Jack Montoucet will be serving as Grand Marshal for the Grand Parade, which is set to run at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
The music will continue until midnight Saturday night, after which time the 77th International Rice Festival will wind to a close.
... And the planning for next year begins.