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Southeast Tourism Society selects 43rd Annual French Food Festival as an ‘STS Top 20 Event’

Southeast Tourism Society selects 43rd Annual French Food Festival as an ‘STS Top 20 Event’

Travel industry organization has saluted region’s best events since 1985

ATLANTA, Ga. – The Southeast Tourism Society has named the French Food Festival as one of the STS Top 20 Event in the Southeast for October 2016.

This year’s French Food Festival is October 28 - 30, 2016. The STS Top 20 Festival and Event Awards have highlighted programs around the Southeast since 1985.

Travel industry experts select 20 events per month, and STS publicizes them throughout the United States. The complete list is published on two websites: EscapeToTheSoutheast.com and Travel Media Press Room. This is the 5th time that French Food Fest has received this honor since 1997!

The French Food Festival is celebrating its 43rd year October 28-30 and is slated to be the biggest one ever! The Festival is the lifeblood of the Larose Civic Center and Bayou Civic Club, raising nearly half of the group’s yearly operating budget in just that one weekend in October. It’s a big event for the Bayou Civic Club and eagerly anticipated by the South and Central Lafourche communities.

This massive festival takes hundreds of people working thousands of hours to plan and execute this hugely successful event, which is eagerly anticipated by old and young alike. There are only a handful of people on staff at the LCC … literally. Less than five people run the facility year round. This small group understands the invaluable contributions volunteers make to the success of the French Food Festival year after year.

“Our volunteers are fun and the life blood of this organization! Mr. Lorimer Comeaux is 96 years old and still volunteers all while making us laugh! He’s here peeling shrimp, helping out during the weekend of the fest. We couldn’t do it without people like him, our volunteers who have been with us for years,” Mrs. Phyllis in the kitchen quoted. “The Festival literally takes tons of food to feed the masses! 600 pounds of rice, 250 crab patties, hundreds of boulettes, 4,500 pounds of shrimp, 100 gallons of cleaned fish and 40 sacks of peeled crawfish!”

Under the permanent pavilion that was completed in 2010, families, actually multiple-generations of families, help to cook and serve the Cajun delicacies the festival attempts to preserve.

Jasmine Ayo, Executive Director of the Larose Civic Center has grown up at LCC, volunteered at the facility, was eventually employed there and willingly took the helm in 2006.

“There is a lengthy waiting list to claim a booth for the festival,” she adds.

“Family. Community. Volunteers. Many of the dedicated and wonderful people in our area come together to volunteer and help is really what makes our festival the huge success that it is today,” she says. “Community participation shows just how committed everyone is to keeping our culture and the LCC alive and well today and for future generations.”

Aside from the plethora of food choices and numerous carnival rides and games, there are folk-life demonstrations including crackling or “graton” making, Cajun cooking, decoy carving and other demonstrations, Les Artistes du Bayou Art Guild Art Show and Exhibit and an old fashioned carnival midway including rides and games! The French Food Festival has something for everyone to enjoy year after year.

Bring your chair, spend the weekend! Live music all weekend long is sure to have a favorite of yours, Waylon Thibodeaux, Amanda Shaw, Ross Grisham, Aaron Foret, Ryan Foret and Foret Tradition, Clustafunk’d and more! Free parking and admission to all guests is a definite plus!

“The Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Festival and Event list is an excellent guide for the Southeast’s visitors and residents. Events selected represent the best, and often most unique, activities in our region,” said Bill Hardman, president and CEO of the Southeast Tourism Society.

Events considered for the STS Top 20 recognition must be at least three years old and have attendance of at least 1,000. Nomination forms and deadlines are available at SoutheastTourism.org or by calling 770-542-1523.