Louisiana Crawfish Festival Returns
                To St. Bernard Civic Center
                      Second fest since hurricane Katrina appears a success

A drive through St. Bernard parish, along with New Orleans, recently cited by the U.S.
Census Bureau as one of the two fastest-growing areas in the United States, may give the
impression that the latest statistics are wrong.

But when St. Bernard's Louisiana Crawfish Festival returned in 2008 for the first time since
hurricane Katrina to its traditional location at the Civic Center on Judge Perez Drive,
thousands of attendees, many a part of this fast-growing population - and some still
displaced who returned just for the festival - could at least for a moment forget they were
in an area utterly destroyed by the floodwaters of 2005.

In 2007 the first post-Katrina festival was held at the old Wal-Mart site. In the years before
hurricane Katrina, the four-day festival had attendance figures as high as 70,000 people.
Rain threatened attendance in 2008, but ocassional drizzles can't dampen the spirit of a
Louisiana party.

Dozens and dozens of carnival rides and games, craft booths, food booths, and music play
a part in revitalizing this downtrodden community. Crawfish, that creature of the mud that
tantalizes the taste buds of seafood lovers, becomes the creature of the day as it becomes
crawfish etoufee, gumbo, po-boys, pies, pizza and gets into any other tasty dish you can

For those who despise the ugly mudbugs, there is the usual fair fare: hamburgers, hot
dogs, nachos, popcorn, and fried seafoods, as well as more carnival rides and games than
the law should allow. But for many an adventurous tourist and any native, the crawfish
rules this time of year.

Two-headed rattlesnakes and turtles on display (only for viewing purposes) at one booth
are safe. The mudbugs are the most sought after creatures at this festival. The many craft
vendors on hand complement the family atmosphere but fade into the background as the
scent of spicy mudbugs floats through the air.

The iconic weekend festival, more than 30 years old, is sponsored by the Knights of
FEMA Trailers in St. Bernard, LA 12-2007  (katrina connection photo)
Ride at Louisiana Crawfish Festival, St. Bernard, LA. 2008 (phto by kc)
Louisiana Crawfish Festival, St. Bernard, LA. 2008 (kc photo)
Snake display at Louisiana Crawfish Festival, St. Bernard, La. 2008 (photo by kc)
A few pix from the fest -
"It's About More Than Just A Hurricane!"
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