Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Festival Endings and Beginnings

It was Day Number 5 and the final day of the Festival International de Louisiane.

The people attending the Festival played as important a role in creating the feeling of a festival as did the performers. We spent time between performances observing people who were enjoying themselves.

We caught the second appearance of Surôit (see yesterday's entry) and then listened to two Louisiana groups. One group, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, is "a Grammy-winning band (that) incorporates a seamless blend of flat-out Cajun French folk-rock, zydeco, various jazz styles, Latin and Caribbean music, medieval European material, western swing and more" (group's bio).

The music exudes a smoothness that comes from musicians who weave their individual skills seamlessly with those of the other members to produce a smooth performance.

In contrast to this polished effort was the rough exuberance of the Lost Bayou Ramblers. Clearly, these were talented musicians whose energy charged up the audience. As their bio states: "The Lost Bayou Ramblers passionately embrace their culture and musical heritage, playing music intimately linked to the agrarian working class lifestyle.... Their music is emo-tionally raw, intense--in a word, authentically Cajun" (group's bio).

Something not so authentic is this gentleman's Guy Fieri look. I was completely fooled by this "hair hat," because it went so well with the traces of his real hair.


We had extended our stay in the Lafayette (LA) area to attend the Festival above and then added one more week to catch the Crawfish Festival in nearby Breaux Bridge.

We arrived early on Friday evening, the first day of the three-day festival, and spent a few minutes just taking in the color and activity of the preparations.

"In 1959, Breaux Bridge celebrated its centennial with such flair that the Louisiana Legislature passed the House Concurrent Resolution Number 17, which named our town 'The Crawfish Capital of the World'" (Festival brochure).

Events of the Festival included Crawfish Races, a Crawfish Etouffée Cook-off, and Crawfish Eating Contests.

Classes are offered in Cajun and Zydeco dancing and dance contests are also held.

But it is the Carnival Midway that caught my attention. The colors of the rides and booths were highlighted by the rays of the setting sun.

But let's move on to the entertain-ment.

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