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The DownTown Lake Charles Crawfish Festival is held each year in April at the Lake Charles Civic Center in downtown Lake Charles. The DTLC Crawfish Festival promotes awareness of the crawfish season, the history of it, and how the seafood industry has benefited Louisiana in the past 200 years. The target audience for the festival is the general public; ages ranging from kids to adults. Previous years’ event hosted over 4,000 for the first year, and has seen an increased census each year following. The proceeds from the event benefits the Eljay Foundation for Parkinson Syndrome Awareness.
All attendees will pay an admission-only fee to enter the festival. The festival includes music and live band entertainment. While in the festival, there will be an opportunity to purchase merchandise and food from local businesses and vendors. There will also be a carnival outdoors where you can purchase tickets for the rides and midway games. The organization makes an effort to lease booth space to only local and regional small businesses. Past vendors have been from Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi displaying and selling gifts, clothes, purses, art, farm equipment, and food. The layout of the festival grounds at the Civic Center allows for it to be one of the largest indoor/outdoor festivals in southwest Louisiana. The festival will be held rain or shine.
The Art Show and Resource Fair
The Festival partners with the Gallery by the Lake and hosts a press conference and art show at the art venue on Pryce Street at the north anchor of downtown Lake Charles. This is also promoted as the Kick-off to Parkinson Awareness Month as well as kick-off to the Crawfish Festival Activities.
We will not hold a pageant this year but look for it to return in 2017
The festival begins on Friday evening with a Family Night at the midway carnival, which provides special rates on rides and games for families. The carnival is held until Sunday. The carnival is set up on the outer perimeter of the festival grounds. The carnival is contracted through Mitchell Brothers Amusements, a Louisiana based amusement production company with over fifty years of experience. This company has served the DTLC Crawfish Festival for five years. There are several games that players can win prizes and stuffed animals. There are rides for small children as well as rides with height restrictions.
On Friday evening, the Crawfish Festival parade rolls through downtown Lake Charles. Businesses, pageant royalty of several festivals, high school bands, and local residents join the festival activities by participating in the parade which travels through several downtown business and resident districts. Candies, doubloons, and beads are thrown to the spectators.
Following the opening ceremonies by the mayor and festival royalty, the day continues with the best Zydeco, Cajun and Pop Music bands. The festival also allows time for new and upcoming local artists to perform. The festival is diverse with its talent selection to please the tastes of the diverse attendees. Each local radio station sponsors a time on the stage. During their sponsored time, they present their sponsored entertainer and promote their business while acknowledging the Premium Event Sponsor and the cause and mission of the event. The festival celebrates local talent. All musical entertainers live within a one-hundred mile radius of Lake Charles.