Local television show host Rodney Dupuy is hosting his annual South Louisiana Crawfish Boil, Craft & Car Show at Lamar Dixon Expo Center on April 8 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Now in its fourth year, the event is promising to be bigger and better than ever, with new attractions and bigger bands.
The cook-off first began in 2013 at Galvez Hardware & Outdoor Cooking with only 18 cooks, raising $1,200 for the Dreams Come True Foundation. The following year, it was moved to Lamar Dixon Expo Center where there was more than double the amount of cooks and raised $12,000. Last year there was 40 cooks and the event raised $35,000, Dupuy said. This year he is hoping to raise $60,000.
"Our bands this year is what's really jumped up," he said. "This thing is going to turn into something big."
Festival goers will see live performances throughout the day from Stonewall Broussard Band, Na Na Sha, Hai Karate and The Chee-Weez.
The Gonzales Police and Fire Department, as well as the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office, will also be in attendance to pay a tribute to the Cajun Navy, who helped countless residents throughout south Louisiana during the August flood. A tribute song will be played by Na Na Sha at 3:30 p.m.
In order to make the event the best the its ever been, Dupuy had to bring in the pros such as the Jambalaya Festival Association to manage and judge the jambalaya cook-off and the Sorrento Lions-Club, who hosts the Boucherie Festival, for the cracklin cook-off. Winners of the cook-offs will receive a trophy and bragging rights for the year.
The celebrity guest judges for the crawfish cook-off will be Swamp People's Bruce Mitchell, Gonzales Police Department Chief Sherman Jackson, WBRZ Meteorologist Josh Eachus, WBRZ Traffic Anchor Ashley Fruge and WWLTV Meteorologist Dave Nussbaum, among others.
New to this years event is the Kids Fishing Rodeo, hosted by the East Ascension Sportsman League, from 9 a.m. to noon. The entry is $5 per child.
Dupuy said he believes he continues to see such success with this event because there is no other crawfish festival in Ascension and because of what organization benefits from the funds.
"I think everybody wants to be apart of this. When everybody out there puts their money together it gives a bunch of dreams to a bunch of kids. It's a good cause, its not just another event, it's an event where the money goes to Louisiana kids with life threatening illnesses."
The South Louisiana Crawfish Boil, Craft & Car Show will feature over 250 craft booths, a car show, kids rides and many more.
For more information about the festival email SouthLA.firstname.lastname@example.org.