They claim that a quarter of the rice eaten in the U.S. comes from Crowley, Louisiana. Who are “they”? Why Crowley, of course! We have neither reason nor desire to question the assertion. Crowley is in Louisiana so, to our ears, it has the ring of truth. Crowley is also host to the annual International Rice Festival (that’s International, mind you, not National!). Rice, an unsexy staple grain, seems an unlikely subject for celebration, which simply serves to piqué our interest in this fest all the more. The party begins this Thursday, October 15th and will run through Sunday, the 18th of October, 2015.
There are plenty of ricely events scheduled, like Saturday’s Rice and Creole Cookery Contest: categories include rice and meat, rice and seafood, rice salad or vegetable, and rice dessert. There’ll also be a Rice Grading Contest. Friday, the International Rice Eating Contest will be held at noon. On Saturday, check out the rice threshing demonstration.
There’s more than rice at this shindig: there’s a poker rice run for bikers, a 5K run/walk, and a classic car show. Thursday night will see plenty of live bands, while Friday’s festivities will begin with remarks from the 78th International Rice Festival Queen. Later in the day, there’ll be a karate demonstration, an arts and crafts show, the crowning of the Children’s Junior King and Queen, a front door decorating contest, and a children’s parade. Live music, including a performance by zydeco master Geno Delafose and his band, will take you through the night.
There’ll be a fiddle and accordion contest on Saturday, as well as the naming of this year’s Outstanding Mill Worker, to be followed by the crowning of the 79th Rice Queen. Enjoy dancers, a frog derby, and, of course, the Grand Parade at 3 p.m. There’ll be plenty more music including a performance by one of our favorite zydeco bands, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys. Good ol’ boy Charlie Daniels will be there with his band to close out the evening on Saturday. Get all the details at the festival website.