Frisco Fest sees record attendance in 2013

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 27, 2013

By Kimberly Hopson

GARYVILLE – The organizers of the 10th annual Frisco Fest said that this year’s event garnered the largest amount of attendees in all of the years they have been putting on the festival.
“This was our highest number of ticket sales. We always want to see more, but we were really pleased that this was our largest number of visitors in the 10 years that we’ve been doing the fest. The grounds were really filled up,” said Kim Fontenot, general manager of San Francisco Plantation.
Fontenot said that 5,400 people attended both days of the festival. Frisco Fest X included events such as 25- and 45-mile bike tours, a car show, a 5k run, an Easter egg hunt, a presentation of “Krewe of Easter Karnival” by the Porta-Puppet Players and live music by Geno Delafose and the French Rockin’ Boogie. This year’s event also had 13 participants in its Cracklin’ Contest, 23 cooks in the Chef’s Choice Cookoff, 110 vendors and more than 200 participants in the bike tour.
The first place winners for the 2013 Chef’s Choice Cookoff are as follows: Nickie Monica, sponsored by NVI LLC, took first place in the appetizer division for his shrimp & corn bisque. Monica also received the Judge’s Overall Award; Bucky Louque, sponsored by Environmental Coating Service, won the meat entree division with his pastalaya; Cindy and Mike Faucheux, sponsored by Nalco, took first in the seafood division with their shrimp and grits. The People’s Choice Award went to Mickey and Harriett Bourgeois, sponsored by Louisiana Scrap Metal, for their crawfish Boullettes.
“We had big crowds for Geno Delfose, he was our main entertainment, and we did really well on food. Many of the other plantations allow vendors to come in, but we have volunteers. We have sponsors that sponsor our food, so it’s all donated back to the plantation. It’s really good for us, and the food was fantastic,” said Fontenot.
Frisco Fest has battled bad weather in the past. Even though the threat of rain was present this year as well, Fontenot is thankful that so many residents turned out to have a good time despite the drizzle. Fontenot said that she is particularly thankful for the hard work of all of the volunteers and sponsors who helped out at the event. She also said that she was happy to max out the space on the back of the festival T-shirt with sponsor logos. She is currently compiling a thank-you for all the event volunteers.
“It is a juggling act, but San Francisco Plantation is really fortunate to have a great board of directors and volunteers. Most of the volunteers are from Marathon Petroleum. I dont know how other people have festivals without volunteers because they are really great to us,” she said. Volunteers such as David A. Gautreaux, the maintenance manager at Marathon, and Bill McQuen, the engineer manager at Marathon, were in charge of the bike tour and run. They helped raise money for the festival shirts.
“All of our guides, they worked really really hard that day to do the tours and keep everything going. The house ran perfectly. There were no problems, and everybody seemed to enjoy their tour,” Fontenot added.
Fontenot said the best part of the festival, aside from the food, is the community spirit that it engenders.
“We love the festival. One of the greatest parts is that with the local people coming in, many have said, ‘I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve enver been inside the plantation home.’ It’s very exciting to have people that’ve never stepped foot in it come out. It brings the community together, and it’s just a great experience,” she said.
Frisco Fest XI will take place March 15 and 16, 2014.