Rice Festival has banner weekend
By: Howell Dennis
CROWLEY - The stages are down. The booths have been removed. The streets are clean.
After four days of music, food, rides and parades, Crowley is back to normal as the 74th edition of the International Rice Festival is being deemed a huge success.
“This was a record year for sales,” said Rice Festival Chairman Gene Williams. “Everything ran smoothly and the crowds were terrific . . . especially at night.”
At the International Rice Festival Headquarters Monday morning, the weary expressions told the story. What was apparent, however, is that any form of satisfaction being felt by festival organizers at how well things ran this year was matched by enthusiasm about next year’s festival.
Williams wanted to be sure to thank all the volunteers who helped to make 2010’s festival a success.
“It seems like we’ve been having more and more volunteers the past few years,” he said. “I hope this trend continues so that we can continue to grow.”
Story lines such as Jo-El Sonnier’s return to Crowley and who the queen would be kept interest high for this year’s festival. Several different area agencies were also on Williams ‘thank you’ list.
“We really need to express our gratitude to the Crowley Police Department, the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Crowley Fire Department, Acadian Ambulance, the Rayne Police Department and all the auxiliaries,” he said. “They worked hard all weekend long.”
Both Williams and Viator said that it was nice to finally get in a full night’s sleep after so many weeks of hard work.
“If my phone wouldn’t have rang I don’t think I would have got up Sunday,” smiled Viator. “I went to bed Sunday night at 6 p.m. and didn’t get up until Monday morning. We have a pretty tired bunch over here.”