Rice Festival applies new technology

By: Howell Dennis
CROWLEY - In past year’s the International Rice Festival pamphlet which listed the schedule of bands, contests and events was a must-have for all those in attendance. This year, however, it seems that technology has taken things a step further to make things much more efficient for festival goers.

An application is now available as a free download to those who own iPhones. Upon viewing the conveniences that the application provides at the International Rice Festival Office Thursday morning, one could not help but be impressed.

The new application has a GPS to let people know their exact location, the schedule and location of such annual events as the Accordion and Fiddle Contest and the Poker Run, the schedule and stage of the musical performances including biographies on each performer, as well as the precise location that each of the foods the festival is famous for are being served. For example, if a person is hungry for fried alligator simply run a search on it and it will tell which booth is serving it. All of the booths this year will have their allotted number prominently displayed on top.

“I was at Festival International in Lafayette this year and they had a similar system,” said International Rice Festival Coordinator Roxie Viator. “They also used the system at the Jazz Festival in New Orleans.”

“I realized that these festivals are by no means bigger than the Rice Festival (the largest agricultural festival in Louisiana) so we decided to have one in place for this year.”

The free application can be downloaded simply by going to the Apple Application on the touchpad of an iPhone. Search for International Rice Festival and download it from there.

The man who designed the application is Rice Festival Webmaster Mike Dubois.

“We believe it will make things much more simple for our guests this year,” said Williams.

Also on Thursday, tickets for the annual International Queen’s Ball went on sale. The tickets for the Saturday evening event are $15 and can be purchased at the International Rice Festival Headquarters at 110 E. 4th St. in Crowley.

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