Festival Acadiens et Créoles kicks off Friday
LAFAYETTE — The 39th Festival Acadiens et Créoles kicks off Friday evening in Girard Park, starting with the traditional “Cutting of the Boudin” at 5 p.m., a ceremonial rite that fits the theme of Lafayette’s three-day celebration of all things Cajun.
The festival ends Sunday night.
Geno Delafose & French Rockin Boogie kicks off the music at 5:15 p.m. at Scène Ma Louisiane, the festival’s main stage.
Scène Ma Louisiane and other stages will feature some of the biggest names in Cajun and zydeco music, including more than 40 bands that will play over three days and four locations, some of them called scènes.
A jam tent will allow musicians to sit in with others for impromptu music sessions.
Bands scheduled to play at Scène Ma Louisiane, Salle de Danse;,Scène Mon Héritage, Atelier and Jam Tent and the Jam des Amis Tent — venues spread over Lafayette’s Girard Park.
The bands slated to play include Nathan Williams and the Zydeco Cha Chas, Wayne Toups and ZydeCajun, TK Hulan and Smoke, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys and the Pine Leaf Boys.
At the Atelier and Jam Tent, there will be a Metro Playboys reunion at 5:15 p.m. featuring Coz Fontenot, Tony Balfa and Mick Kinney.
Twenty-three food vendors will line Girard Park, which sits adjacent to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, offering dishes that cost $4 to $8 per serving.
Old favorites such as shrimp on a stick, gator on a stick and red beans and rice will be offered, along with crawfish etouffée over rice, alligator sausage poboy, blackened fish tacos and something called a “Fried Eggplant Seafood Volcano.”
More than 70 artists and craftsmen will line the grounds, displaying works in clay, glass and papier mache as well as oil paintings, photos, jewelry and mixed media.
Finding parking during the three days might be difficult.
Revelers can park at Cajun Field off West Congress and hop aboard a shuttle, or can pay $10 if they’re early or lucky enough to grab an empty slot on Girard Park Lane across from the park or in UL-Lafayette student lots on East Lewis Drive next to Fletcher Hall and Griffin Hall.
University officials are prohibiting parking in UL-Lafayette zones designated for students.
Tow trucks will be standing by for violators.
Organizers are prohibiting ice chests on festival grounds. For safety reasons, open fires and barbecue pits, glass containers, bicycles, skateboards, recreational vehicles and pets are not allowed.
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For a schedule and other information, go to www.festivalacadiens.com