Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Editor and Publisher

LAPLACE – Hurricanes, national financial problems, high gas prices (although they are finally declining—yippee!).

Problems, problems, problems.

No matter if you live in the great Northeast, or in the sunny, humid swamps of Southeast Louisiana, problems face most folks every day.

But for three days coming this weekend, St. John Parish has put together a great way to simply forget about it all, with this year’s St. John Parish Andouille Festival ready to debut this Friday through Sunday, Oct. 17-19.

The 2008 Andouille Festival, now being put together under a new parish administration, has made a host of changes for this year’s event, which promise to make this perhaps the biggest and best festival ever.

Now set for the wide-open grounds on Highway 51 around the St. John Community Center, the 2008 Andouille Festival promises the biggest lineup of music ever, along with the largest group of vendors, food outlets and carnival rides in the history of the ever-popular event. Even the first night of fun on Friday will be capped late in the evening by a fireworks display at 10 p.m.

“We’ve tried to make this the biggest and best one there ever has been,” new Parish President Bill Hubbard explained. “We knew we needed more space, so we’ve moved to the Community Center grounds on Highway 51. That gives us a lot more space and has given us this opportunity to make the fair bigger than ever.”

And indeed, just looking at the vast lineup of events, along with two stages full of music, it is clear that the festival has never had so much to offer as it will beginning this Friday at 6 p.m.

The musical lineup is clearly loaded with more music than ever, evidenced by the simple fact that two different stages have been set up.

Charmaine Neville and Louisiana Spice will perform on the Miller Lite Stage Saturday, while Flashback will be the headliner on Friday. On Sunday night, the popular band, Chee Weez, will perform.

Over on the Bud Light Stage for Saturday night will be Shane Johns and the Distractions. However music will be ongoing throughout the festival on both stages, giving fair-goers lots of entertainment from start to finish.

The fair will be open on Friday from 6 pm. to midnight; on Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight; and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

This year’s Baby and Junior Miss Andouille pageants will be held inside the Community Center on Sunday at 10 a.m., right after the 30th annual Andouille Run at 8:30 a.m., that includes a five mile run, as well as a two-mile run/walk. Even a special band has been set to play after the race to add to the party atmosphere.

The Chicken/Andouille Gumbo Cook-off contest is set for Saturday at 2 p.m.

A freestyle arm wrestling tournament will also be held on Saturday at 8 p.m., with divisions for kids and adults.

The midway rides are expected to be more varied than ever this year, with the usual “Pay One Price” armband offer set at $25 for the “Pay One Price Ticket.”

Admission to the festival is $2 for adults and $1 for children 12-and-under.

The Andouille Festival is utilized each year by most civic or charitable organizations, including many churches, to raise funds for many of their year-long community events.

Check out all the details on the festival in L’Observateur’s handy two-page pull out, on pages 8 and 9A inside today.

For more information on the festival, go to the parish website at, or call 652-9569, ext. 217.