Andouille Fest this weekend

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Big band lineup, rides, food begin on Friday in LaPlace



LAPLACE – The biggest party of the year in St. John Parish is just around the corner, and director Julia Remondet says the excitement couldn’t be at a higher pitch.

The Andouille Festival, the annual St. John party in the middle of town, will be held right in front of the parish administrative offices on Airline Highway Friday through Sunday, Oct. 20-22.

And Remondet, St. John Economic Development Director who organizes and puts the majority of the details together, said she thinks that last year’s &#8220biggest crowd ever” might be topped in 2006.

&#8220There’s just so many good things about the festival that draw people,” she said. &#8220First and foremost, we love it because this is an opportunity for so many non-profits to raise funds for all the good work they do. And then there is the simple fact that we put together a great fair that has things for just about everyone.”

While St. John Parish actually sponsors the event and runs the massive operation of the three-day festival, Remondet said it is a large number of area non-profit civic organizations which are the &#8220backbone of the festival.”

&#8220We set the stage for these groups to raise money, and in turn, they put that money back into the community in many positive ways,” she said.

Admission to the fair is just $1, and that was a way to keep tabs on the number of people who came last year, which Remondet said went over the 17,000 number for a record showing.

This year the fair will offer nine different bands performing throughout the entire event, as well as a gumbo cookoff, a free style arm wrestling tournament, a five-mile and two-mile run and walk, and of course, the fantastic lineup of rides and food.

The arm wresting tournament was started two years ago and proved to be a very popular event, since it is open for anyone age 10 and up. The finals of the tournament will be held on Saturday, October 21 at 7 p.m.

The five-mile and two-mile run and walk will be held on Sunday morning beginning at 8:30.

And the finals of the Gumbo Cookoff will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Additionally, many local organizations will provide a wealth of tasty treats, as well as many arts and crafts up for sale by area artists.

&#8220The festival is a great help for tourism in our area as well,” Remondet added. &#8220We promote it heavily and people come from the entire region to our fair. It’s just a great way to promote St. John.”

For more information on any of the events, call 652-9569, ext. 217.