History of the
Louisiana Crawfish Festival
In 1975, the Knights of Columbus Rummel Council 5747 saw a need in the St. Bernard Community. Debating on how to raise funds, a member of the council suggested that they host a festival, and so the Louisiana Crawfish Festival began. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated St. Bernard Parish. The Crawfish Festival could not happen again until 2007. The 2007 Crawfish Festival was a big family reunion. Many residents of St. Bernard joined together with friends and family who moved away after the Hurricane. Some even say the festival was the reason that they returned to St. Bernard Parish to rebuild. After the Louisiana Crawfish Festival reestablished itself, it became the main fundraiser for Knights of Columbus Rummel Council, which allowed them to donate over $100,000 per year to multiple community initiatives throughout the St. Bernard Community and the surrounding areas. Since Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana Crawfish Festival donated over ONE MILLION DOLLARS back to the community. Recently to commemorate the 45th Louisiana Crawfish Festival, the committee decided to establish the Louisiana Crawfish Fest Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)3.
The Louisiana Crawfish Festival is located in Beautiful and Historical St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana which is rich with heritage, moss covered oak trees, creole tomatoes, Louisiana Bayous, shrimp boats, oyster luggers, oil refineries, and is a fisherman’s haven. St. Bernard Parish is the home of the Battle of New Orleans site over-looking the mighty Mississippi River adjoining the Crescent City, New Orleans. Even though St. Bernard flourishes predominately through diversity its roots of ancestry dominate the culture engulfed with Festivals, Arts, Crafts and merriment.
The festival originated in 1975 and has grown to become a Louisiana tradition. Patrons frequent the festival, annually, from all areas of the United States. They arrive by auto, air, bus and train to come in for the spring event that features authentic Cajun cuisine. Boiled Crawfish with all the “fixins” & Crawfish Dishes such as Crawfish Bread, Crawfish Pasta, Crawfish Pies, Crawfish Rice, and Crawfish Jambalaya adorn the limelight while many other food booths tickle just about everyone’s pallet.
Cajun entertainment and current hit parade bands explode on stage to draw crowds to the sounds and glitter of showmanship. The entertainment committee assures that everyone attending will at some point enjoy the performances. Thursdays and Fridays entice the listeners to prepare for the weekend filled musical finale on Sunday night.
Arts and crafts lure hundreds to see real hand crafted products. Cups, plates, belts, straw hats, sun glasses, tennis visors, personalized home crafts, license plates and key chains are just a few of the treasured values offered.
There’s always a giant midway with carnival games, cotton candy, candied apples and rides to thrill the toddler through the roughneck and even the Ferris wheel for Maw Maw and Paw Paw. The awesome clinking on the tracks, the air brakes, the laughter amid the flashing lights with noisy horns and squealing sirens draw thousands to conquer their inhibitions.
The weekend of festivities boasts proudly of its ability to reunite families, attract family reunions, spark new relationships and spread joy throughout the entire atmosphere. Balloons, toy animals, tee shirts, aprons, ball caps, and other memorabilia flood the festival with mementos to remind us that the next crawfish festival is in the horizon.
For more information go to the St. Bernard Tourism website:www.VisitStBernard.com.