Monday, October 1, 2007

Can't get enough of that Cajun stuff

Rhythm and Roots was a month ago, and while it's not a Cajun festival, Cajun, Zydeco and other music from Louisiana figures heavily into the mix. Hosted by the Red Stick Ramblers, and featuring bands like Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, Corey Ledet, and the Creole Cowboys, the Cajun/Creole component is strong. Now that its over, we hate the thought of a long winter with no more festivals, so this year we have decided to make a trip down to Lafayette, LA, the heart of Cajun Country. We are lucky to have Cajun and zydeco bands visit the northeast frequently, but there's nothing like going to the source. There are festivals almost every weekend in Lousiana, but two them caught our eye. One is the "Black Pot" festival, which we heard about from the the Red Stick Ramblers when they were at Rhythm and Roots. From what I gather, it seems to be more of a nighttime festival, taking place Friday night and Saturday until midnight, with onsite camping (and after hours jams) and features a 'black pot" cookoff. Sounds intriguing - I would love to go to that if we had the time to drive down with the van and camp out. But unfortunately we still have to work to support our festive lifestyle, so flying is a better time-saving option. And what better opportunity to "celebrate the rhythms of Cajun life" than at Festivals Acadiens, an annual celebration of all things Cajun.

The free festival takes place in Girard Park near the campus of University of LA. the weekend of Oct 12-14, and is actually four festivals in one: music, food, crafts, and Lousiana folklife/ wetlands. There are 2 stages with continuous music from 11am til about 7, with heavy hitters like Beausoleil, Steve Riley, Wayne Toups, newer bands like the Pine Leaf Boys and Bonsoir Catin, superstar combinations like les Traiteurs, and quite a few I don't think I've seen before, but who I've heard mentioned on KBON. Friday night is Downtown alive, a free concert in downtown Lafayette with T-Sale, and Lil Nathan and the Zydeco Big Timer's). From what I remember, the food is about as good as it is at Jazzfest, if not as varied. Lots of cajun specialties like boudin, cracklins, jambalaya, crawfish any way you want it, shrimp,seafood and other Cajun specialties. At night there are bands playing in clubs like Randols, Grant Street and Blue Moon Saloon. We'll check the Time of Acadiana for other local listings. There is more information on the festival on the Lafayette tourism website, and a pretty good description on the Tabasco website. Joe and I have visited Lafayette before but not in the last 5 years so we are looking forward to it. And we plan to spend a couple of days in our beloved New Orleans pre/post fest Acadiens, so it will be nice to visit there when it's not so busy like it is at Jazzfest. So laissez les bon temps roulez, et Allons a Lafayette!

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