The 83rd International Rice Festival Comes To An End Today
The 83rd International Rice Festival comes to an end today in Crowley. And I am certain the Crowley natives would say it was a very "rice" weekend! It’s held every third full weekend in October in historic downtown Crowley, Louisiana. The Rice Festival is one of Louisiana’s largest and also it’s oldest Agricultural Festival. Crowley is known as the “Rice Capital of the World”, so it’s only natural that they have an annual celebration which brings attention to the importance of rice.
The festival keeps with tradition with two parades. Friday is the Children’s Parade and Saturday is the Grand Parade. There are also special events including rice cooking contest, rice-eating contest, Farmer’s banquet and of course, the Queen’s Ball. Every year, the music lineup is always impressive from legends to local artists continuously performing the entire weekend from early morning to midnight.
There were over 20 acts performing live music throughout the festival. On Friday night, Cupid performed on The Cramer Equipment Stage while Wayne Toups performed on the Supreme Rice Stage. And on Saturday night, The Voice Runner Up, Gyth Rigdon, performed on The Supreme Rice Stage followed by Marc Broussard, while Jamie Bergeron was on the Cramer Equipment Stage.
If you missed the International Rice Festival this year, well, you missed a lot of fun. Next year, be sure to head to Crowley, where life is rice and easy, and enjoy a fun-filled weekend full of traditions, music, art, and of course, rice.
According to The International Rice Festival facebook page, the following is part of a short history of the origin of the International Rice Festival. A Local Newspaper, Signal Associate Editor Ken Hoffpauir spent many hours researching material for the article. Special assistance rendered by Reverend Paul Freeland, Acadia Parish Librarian Mrs. Virginia Wilkins, and Library staff members: Cleon Mitchell, Leslie Roberts, Mary June Miles of the Crowley Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture.
In 1927 the first Rice Carnival was held, and Sol Wright, a pioneer in the Rice Industry in Acadia Parish and his daughter, Edith, were chosen King and Queen. The following year, Mayor Gordon H. Brunson and Miss Margaret Francez were crowned King and Queen of the last Rice Carnival. The carnivals were held in conjunction with Armistice celebrations. From 1929 through 1936, no similar rice celebration was held in the City of Crowley. There is still today some debate as to just who was directly responsible for suggesting that a National Rice Festival be held in Crowley.
For more information visit the International Rice Festival facebook page.