Monday, May 6, 2013

Saturday? Festival!

Looking back on the 14th Annual Catfish Festival in Washington, LA, I realize I did a lot of things wrong….

We had come to the Lafayette area to attend the Festival International de Louisiane in Lafayette and the Crawfish Festival in Breaux Bridge.

From reading information about the calendar of events for Cajun Country (the area around Lafayette), I saw that in just the first couple of weeks in April, we had already missed the Cajun Hot Sauce Festival in New Iberia; the Boggy Bayou Festival, Pine Prairie; the Cracklin’ Cook-Off, Parks; Le Festival du Bon Temps a Broussard, Broussard; the Boudin Festival, Scott; and the Louisiana Cajun Food Festival, Kaplan

So, since Festival season was in full swing, when I saw the ad for the Catfish Festival, I had to put it on our calendar. However, I had only the time of the parade to plan the day around.

Then the fun began.

Washington is an historic town with a population under 1,000, so I figured I would have no trouble finding a parade. Well, a brief drive around town resulted in my sitting in a parking lot where a small crowd had gathered. After I realized this was the site of an Antiques Fair, my search resumed.

I had passed an RV park on the edge of town that had a lot of activity around it. I parked right at the entrance that just so happened to be the location of the Festival. The down side of finding a good parking space is that there are very few people at the Festival.

I soon heard sirens, which usually means a parade is coming. And a parade it was, but it broke up about two blocks from the entrance. The Mamou Elementary School band continued the extra two blocks
as did Joseph in his battery-powered police car.
One of the few “active” areas on the Festival grounds was this griller/smoker, and already in mid-morning the aroma of the chicken convinced me that this was the location for lunch.
I plotted my walk around the grounds so that I could see the games and booths while making periodic stops at the griller.

I did not see catfish on the menu at this food stand,
but I took note of this booth in the event in any increase in my stress level.

I did not find any schedule before arriving at the Festival and there were no programs available at the gate. As a result, I did not pay much attention to the band that began late in the morning. Fortunately, others had come to hear the band,
and this couple, wearing banners that read "The Original SW LA Zydeco Music Festival," came to dance.
At one time, I counted four young women wearing a crown and a banner. This was one member of royalty in attendance that day.
As lunch time drew near, I took up a position near the griller. Strangely enough, I noticed a couple of people come up, receive a piece of chicken and a slice of bread, and leave. My lunch chances did not look good.
I learned that this beautiful, aromatic chicken was only available to the volunteers.
With little information about the afternoon's performers and events and primed for chicken, I decided to leave.

So, I had missed the parade, missed the lunch I was primed for, and missed some well-known performers in the afternoon.

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