Rotary educated on Rice Festival

By Paula Guillory

STAFF WRITER

The Crowley Rotary club held their weekly meeting on September 29 at the Town Club. This week’s program was solely directed towards the upcoming 73rd International Rice Festival to be held the weekend of October 15-17.

Ida Yeager, Crowley Kindergarten principal, was presented with a book entitles Mardi Gras in the Country for the school library as part of an on going literacy program sponsored by the rotary club.

The meeting opened with Rotarian, Ann Mire, presenting an informative and entertaining slide show highlighting the history of the Rice Festival, or the Rice Carnival, as it was first called. The show featured past rice royalties, parade marshals, rice farmers of the year, and paid special tribute to Bill Canter whose name has become synonymous with the festival.

Following the presentation, Gene Williams, Rotarian and festival chairman, discussed various aspects of the festival such as entertainment, financial figures, and economic impact. Williams explained, that because of the price to hire quality entertainers, a sum of around $73,000, and to provide increased security the city actually stands to gain very little. Rotarian and former mayor, Isabella de la Houssaye, stood to address the group saying, “no price can be placed on the exposure the city gains through this event.”

Some exciting news shared at the meeting was that the Parkerson Avenue restoration project will be complete for the festival kick-off. The booths will continue to be placed in their traditional location; directly down the center of the main street. Annual Rice Festival t-shirts are now available at the Rice Festival office.

Anyone interested in additional information is encouraged to visit www.RiceFestival.com. This site is highly informative, in fact last year during the 30 days preceding the festival it received 1.5 million hits.

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