THE POST-SIGNAL / Steve Bandy
The official poster for the 83rd International Rice Festival is unveiled by L.J. Gielen with help from Amelia Smith, the poster’s artist, Tuesday night at the International Rice Festival Building. Looking on is CheChe Gielen. The Gielens own The Grand Opera House and Rice Palace, poster sponsors.
Rice Festival poster, theme are revealed
Louisiana’s oldest and largest agricultural festival took on the “international” moniker in 1946 when the festival resumed after a hiatus during World War II.
This year that label is brought front and center.
“Rice ... An International Treasure” is the theme for the 83rd International Rice Festival slated for Oct. 17 - 19 in historic downtown Crowley.
The official poster for the 2019 celebration was unveiled during a Festival Association membership meeting held Tuesday night at — appropriately — the International Rice Festival Building.
Amelia Smith of Eunice is the artist for this year’s poster, sponsored again this year by Rice Palace and The Grand Opera House.
L.J. and CheChe Gielen, owners of those two local businesses, were invited to unveil the new poster along with the artist.
Josh Spell, 2019 festival chairman, welcomed attendees to the ceremonies before introducing Deborah Nutt Whiting, president of the Rice Festival Association.
Whiting thanked everyone involved with planning the annual festival and urged continued support. “The momentum is up right now. Let’s keep it going,” she said.
After recognizing members of the Rice Festival Association Board of Directors, Whiting introduced Shanna Monk, festival coordinator.
Monk added her thanks to all the members and volunteers for their untiring efforts in planning the annual celebration, adding special thanks to reigning International Rice Festival Queen Victoria Callahan, who she called “a truly great weekend ambassador for the last year.”
Monk also recognized Thibodeaux Ag Group as this year’s Festival Honoree; Alan Lawson as the Farmer of the Year; Jake Reiners as the Junior Farmer of the Year; Sandra Doré as the Chidren’s Parade Grand Marshal; and L.J. and CheChe Gielen and Kim Gielen Gattle as the Grand Parade Marshals.
Following the unveiling, attendees were invited to enjoy a jambalaya supper with all the trimmings prepared by Ronald Stelly.