Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Festival Cut Short

It was a little after 5:30 on the first day of the Breaux Bridge (LA) Crawfish Festival, and I was imagining myself on the dance floor.

The Festival announces in its brochures: "3 Days, 3 Stages, 30+ Bands." And the regular attendees know that if there are three stages, there will be three dance floors.

While I was seeing myself gliding across the floor to a Cajun waltz played by Ryan Brunet & Malfecteurs, the once sparsely-filled Festival Stage dance floor quickly became a crowded space.

With this many people occupying such a relatively small space, there was no way I would have been able to go all out on my version of the Cajun two-step.

Ah, yes, one's imagination can be a valuable aid in dealing with the harshness of reality.

I was still caught up with the mental picture of my classic footwork when Wilson Savoy (left in the photo) and the other members of the Pine Leaf Boys appeared for their set on stage.

We moved on to the Crawfish Stage and the per-formance by Hunter Courville & Cajun Fever, my thoughts now focused on the skill of the people who felt very comfortable on the dance floor and on the music.

The featured bands were some of the best Cajun bands from the area. We had to cut short our stay in Duson, so we did not have a chance to hear Ray Abshire, Feufollet, Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys, The Huval Family Band, Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band, Joe Hall & Louisiana Cane Cutters, Al Berard Family Band, and Roddie Romero & the Hub City All-Stars.

The tents in the background in the photo above were food tents, offering a range of crawfish-related dishes and other Cajun favorites. Seeing the reference to Rib-eye Steaks made me long for thinly-sliced rib eye in a Philadelphia Cheesesteak. (We do miss them.)

One of the tents selling handcrafted speciality items featured this chair-swing (I've forgotten what they were called).

But we did take time to listen to Forest Huval and company in the Breaux Bridge tent.

This was a chance to say "hello" to Al Berard (of the Basin Brothers) again. The group was joined by Karen England, who had traveled from Washington state to perform with this group at the Festival.

Al seems to be serving as a mentor for Forest (right in the photo), who has become more confident in his singing and accordion playing in the lead role during the short time we have known him.

We also spent time talking with Keith, the drummer (on the left in the photo) and former member of the Basin Brothers.

When we left, around 10:30, folks were still dancing.

In my mind, I, too, was still looking good on the dance floor.

Due to flooding along the Mississippi, we had to leave one day earlier and change our travel route. As of this writing, we are just west of St. Louis and plan to be heading into Springfield, IL on Thursday.

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