HOUMA — A new Halloween festival set for downtown Houma will feature a mix of modern pop culture and monster myths from Cajun lore.
The first Rougarou Fest — the name means “werewolf” in Cajun French — is scheduled Oct. 26. It links several existing downtown events with Halloween festivities, including a parade, costume contest and a monster-themed race.
In the Rougarou Run, participants will be outfitted with a flag football belt. Then they will have to protect their flags from zombies, swamp monsters and members of the Cajun Rollergirls roller derby team.
The event will raise money for the Wetland Discovery Center, which helps teach children about the importance of the wetlands and saving Louisiana’s coast.
“It’s a fun time of year, and we wanted to bring a few events together under one umbrella,” said Jonathan Foret, the center’s development director.
He said the celebration aims to capitalize on renewed interest in Cajun folklore thanks to the hit movie “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and television shows such as “Cajun Justice” and “Swamp People.”
The festival kicks off at 5 p.m. with live music in Courthouse Square. There will be Cajun-themed food and drinks. The race starts at 6 p.m.
Registration for the race begins at 5 p.m. in the town hall parking lot. The entry fee is $20 for those who register by Oct. 12 and $25 afterward. The entry fee includes an event T-shirt, food and drinks. Proceeds will benefit the Wetlands Discovery Center.
The Krewe Ga Rou Halloween Parade follows at 7 p.m. The parade is billed as a family-friendly event featuring costumed characters throwing treats. The parade also will feature a troop of zombies dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”