And Louisiana has plenty of festivals. In fact at last count there are over 400 festivals to enjoy year round. There is the ever popular and most well known Mardi Gras in New Orleans (and every.single.other.town. in Louisiana during Mardi Gras week) but there are also so many more that any visiting Louisiana should try and attend. In Ruston there is the Peach Festival with some of the best peaches you will ever taste, there is a crawfish festival in Chalmette (plus many others across the state), a handful of catfish festivals, a yambilee festival in Opelousas (ah-pa-lou-ses), an alligator festival in Luling, the Holiday Trail of Lights across North Louisiana and the list just goes on and on. You can be sure that every single town in our great state has something they boast about and will celebrate in true southern style, with music, food and alcohol.
We are lucky enough to live an area of the state that has easy access to several of the great festivals each year. We recently drove about an hour to join in the fun at a catfish festival. There were well over 18,000 people there for the 9 hour shin dig. After paying the entrance fee we spent some time milling around the many different vendor booths.
There is something for everyone. The girls each chose a a barbie with a bike and Mike picked up a neat pocket knife.
As we wandered along our noses were pleasantly assaulted by the smell of frying catfish, hushpuppies and fries. When we made it through the lines we were pleased to see that for $7 you could get enough catfish and fries to feed to grown adults. Y’all that is a lot of catfish fillets.
Did I mention they were delicious? In all honesty Mike and I should have shared this massive plate of fish but it isn’t often you can get this much catfish in one setting and we decided to get another one so we could be stingy. =) When I asked Hayley how she liked the catfish this is the look she gave me, doesn’t she look happy with ketchup and cornmeal all over her face?
Every good festival has something for the kids and this catfish festival didn’t let us down.
There inflatable jumpers and obstacle courses and while the prices per ticket were steep the money was well spent to see the girls smiles and squeals as they barreled down the pirate ship slide.
After jumping and sliding their hearts out we headed back to the vendors in search of more fun. Along the way we heard several bands playing. There was music for everyone, gospel, Christian rock, rock, country, and one of my favorites good ole blues and folk music. This is the Drunken Catfish Ramblers. They played a great mix of jazz, blues and folk. Y’all this here is is some great music
After purchasing a CD we continued our walk around town and ran into this cool looking robot. The girls were to shy to take a picture with him. Boo!
We stopped to give the girls feet a break and to get some more water, with the temperatures hotter than expected we didn’t want to become dehydrated. While we stopped and rested the girls took advantage of the local zoo’s booth. Hayley showed how brave she was by holding a baby alligator and Kyla over came her fears to touch a python.
Finally it was time for the big show. The girls were beside themselves with anticipation as they waited for the main stars to take stage. Who was it? Why no other than Sophia the First, Cinderella, Ariel and *drum roll* Elsa!
The highlight of the show was when Elsa invited every girl and boy there on stage to help her sing Let It Go. As you can see Hayley let it go as she sang her heart out. As she got of stage she couldn’t stop going on about how she got to hold Elsa’s hand. Kyla loved it just as much, though she got a little over whelmed by all the kids. I was proud of her for not pushing her way through the younger ones to get to Elsa although I know she really wanted to. Part of me wanted to tell her to go for it but I understood why she hung back and was polite. She did get some great time on stage with Cinderella though and that made her day.
By the end of the day we were all ready to say goodbye to this years catfish festival and head home. I, as always, came home sunburned, the kids came home exhausted and Mike came home with a belly ready to explode.
All in all it was great time and we can’t wait until another festival rolls around. Which shouldn’t be too long, after all, we do live in Louisiana..party capital of the US.
Do y’all have any festivals near your home?