Published 12:00 am Friday, October 16, 2009



LAPLACE – The dreary, rainy clouds situated over the LaPlace area Friday morning were not enough to deter the spirits of Theresa Lambert as she scrambled to assemble her craft booth for this weekend’s Andouille Festival, which kicked off last night on the grounds of the St. John Community Center.

“This is the last we will see of the rain this weekend,” Lambert said. “It’s going to clear up, and we are going to have some of the nicest weather in the next two days.”

Lambert, who for the fourth year in a row is manning a craft booth selling hair bows, said she has seen a tremendous amount of positive growth for St. John Parish’s signature celebration.

“I guess you could say that I and most of my family have been a part of the festival since day one,” Lambert said. “I can remember back when it was held at LaPlace Park. We have come a long way since those days.”

Back in the days when the festival was a fundraiser for the volunteer fire department, Lambert, a resident of LaPlace, said she recalls going down to the fire stations to prepare the ingredients or the andouille delicacies.

“We used to cut all the seasonings right at the fire station,” Lambert said. “We used to have to chop all the onions and garlic and shallots for all the food for the weekend.”

Lambert also said preparations for the fair grounds were much more labor intensive and a tad bit slower than setup can be today.

“It is a big change from back then,” said Lambert. “The booths used to be all wood structures and they had to be assembled in sections. Today, all you have to do is pitch a tent, and you are set.”

Lambert is not ashamed to say that her hair bow booth is one of the more popular craft booths at the fair. Her husband’s full vanload of bows and clips was evidence to back up her claim.

“I’ve got something for everyone, and I’ve got some of the best prices,” said Lambert. “We always have lots of fun this weekend.”

The 38th annual Andouille Festival continues today with live music starting at 11 a.m. and carrying on into the evening and tomorrow.