The annual Acadian Festival parade kicks off Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and winds its way through Plaquemine to near the festival park.

A cornhole tournament, a Sauce Piquante Challenge featuring a $500 prize and many officials participating, and a new inside sports bar with 3 big screen TVs are among the new features of the International Acadian Festival, as it celebrates its 50th anniversary on October 19-21.

Musical performers include by the Chase Tyler Band, which performed at the Country Music Festival in Tiger Stadium; the Ryan Foret Band and Unfinished Business. The festival will be held at the Mark A. “Tony” Gulotta Bayou Plaquemine Waterfront Park, located at 57845 Foundry Street in Plaquemine. It kicks off Friday evening with a Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament at 6 p.m., an array of Cajun favorite dishes, carnival rides and games, crafts booths, and the performance by Unfinished Business at 8 p.m.

Unique among festivals, the beautiful torch lit Water Ceremony marks the arrival of Evangeline, Grace Sanchez, queen of the festival, and her Indian princesses by canoe on historic Bayou Plaquemine at 6 pm on Saturday. Other features Saturday include the cooking contest, doubles cornhole tournament, LSU/Georgia game on 3 large screen TVs in the new inside sports bar, and Cajun heritage activities and display. The Chase Tyler Band hits the stage at 8 p.m.

Another popular feature of the festival, the annual Acadian Festival parade kicks off Sunday at 10:30 a.m., and winds its way through Plaquemine to near the festival park. The festival opens up as the parade ends at noon, with the new Sauce Piquante Challenge, featuring a $500 prize and many officials preparing and serving their best sauce piquante; great food, rides, games, the singles cornhole tournament, and the Saints/Ravens game on TVs in the new inside sports bar. The Ryan Foret Band performs at 6 p.m.

Handicapped parking is available, and a parking trolley offers pickup from parking areas to the festival grounds. For more information, go to www.acadianfestival.org or to www.facebook.com/International Acadian Festival.

The festival is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Council 970 of Plaquemine.

Contributed by Acadian Festival