New Roads fest kicks off second year
NEW ROADS — The city of New Roads’ second annual Harvest Festival spanning eight days starting Saturday will offer live music, food, family fun and a celebration of Pointe Coupee Parish culture.
Mayor Robert Myers promises a “bigger, better” celebration this year rivaling the inaugural festival.
“A new festival usually draws only about 5,000 to 7,000 people,” Myers said. “We drew about 25,000 people. Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne called this one of the best new festivals in the area.”
City officials said the first festival generated more than $150,000 in direct spending. Myers said the city donated nearly $20,000 of that revenue to 15 New Roads-area nonprofit organizations.
The 2012 festival officially kicks off at 8 a.m. Saturday with the Harvest Festival Beauty Pageant at the Poydras Museum.
On Thursday , Cajun fiddler, singer and Disney Channel actress Amanda Shaw will headline the Taste of Harvest Festival at the False River Preview Party in the William Scott Civic Center. The preview party begins at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $30 per person.
Attendees will be served hors d’oeuvres and receive preview admission to the festival’s carnival rides, Myers said.
Myers said most of the free events of this year’s festival will be offered Friday through Oct. 21.
Festival highlights include live music on two downtown stages, carnival rides on Morrison Parkway, a special Kids Zone activity area, displays at the Julien Poydras Museum and more than 100 arts and craft vendors, including boutique retailers, an expanded food court and beer garden.
Musical acts scheduled to perform are David St. Romain and Little Texas, zydeco artists Rockin’ Dopsie and Wayne Toups, Chris LeBlanc and oldies party band Na Na Sha.
Other events scheduled Friday through Sunday include a 5-kilometer race, Pecan Baking Contest and the festival’s Green Market.
“This is really something that brought the community together,” Myers said. “Variety is something that people obviously look for and we wanted to do the things we did right again this year and the things that weren’t so good last year we left out.”