Rice Festival kicks off to large crowd

Maybe it was the cool weather, the variety of music, the carnival rides or the unique food that is served only once a year. Whatever it was Thursday night’s crowd for the opening of the 76th International Rice Festival was one of the largest in recent memory.

While Kira Viator and the Bayou Beats (who put on a very strong performance), or the Molly Ringwalds with their ‘remember the 80’s’ style of music were keeping the crowds dancing, patient parents waited in long lines to get their anxious children on the carnival rides and vendors were cooking up cracklins, funnel cakes, boudin (regular and barbecued) and any other type of ‘food on a stick’ imaginable.

Friday’s schedule includes the Jr. King and Queen Pageant, the Children’s Parade (which rolls at 1:30) and the Rice and Creole Cooking Contest which will determine who this year’s Chef de Riz will be.

Music will be provided by T.J. Gautreaux, Geno Delafosse and French Rockin Boogie as well as Crowley’s own Wayne Toups on the Cajun Country Stage on the south side of the Acadia Parish Courthouse.

On the Louisiana Rice Mill Sound Stage, musical acts will include Bonnie Chance, Blaine Roy and Second Wind, Louisiana Red and Bag of Donuts.

If Thursday evening's turnout was any indication, this year's festival may well turn out to be a record setting year.

Acadia Parish Today

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