Just outside of New Orleans, Chalmette in St. Bernard parish hosts the annual Louisiana Crawfish Festival (March 20th-23rd) each year, a lavish celebration of one of the most beloved local seafoods, just in time for the start of its season, when crawfish boils abound each weekend. Founded in 1975, the festival is now an institution and local tradition that is up there with the rest of the New Orleans food festivals, and attendees flock from all across the country to take part in this event.
Held at the Sigur Center in Chalmette, the Louisiana Crawfish Festival provides a wide range of food, entertainment and attractions to its attendees. In terms of music, two bands will play on Thursday and Friday, and three bands will perform on Saturday and Sunday. They include Melody Cool (Red Diva), Groovy 7, Weathered, Voodoo Gumbo, Chee Weez, Mojeaux and more.
When it comes to food, this festival has just about every crawfish dish you can imagine, plus a host of others. You’ll find everything from Cajun crawfish rolls, crawfish bread, crawfish cheese dip and crawfish fried rice to crawfish po-boys, crawfish etouffee over fried green tomatoes, crawfish and corn soup, crawfish cakes, crawfish creole, crawfish jambalaya and more. For non-crawfish dishes, you can enjoy fried eggplant with cream sauce, alligator sausage on a stick, boneless BBQ ribs, fried artichoke hearts, white chocolate bread pudding and more.
Each year, the festival also brings in Mitchell Brothers, which provides child-friendly amusements through Mawmaw & Pawpaw Ferris Wheels. These include a wide range of carnival rides, such as a ferris wheel and merry-go-round and carnival game booths like shooting hoops, throwing rings or popping balloons. Pay One Price Armbands for the rides are $15 on Thursday and $25 on Friday through Sunday.
Other aspects of the festival include the vast section of arts and crafts booths, which feature what’s happening in the new world of crafts, including everything you need to decorate or remodel your home, office or shop. Louisiana Crawfish Festival even inducts royalty each year, including a Louisiana Crawfish Queen and Teen Louisiana Crawfish Queen.
For more food festival fun, take a little trip outside of New Orleans’ main area to enjoy all that Chalmette and its Louisiana Crawfish Festival have to offer.