Lutcher festival celebrates tradition this weekend

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 11, 2013


LAPLACE – Before the famous Christmas Eve bonfires, locals are privy to a bit of a preview — and, actually, much more — at the 24th annual Festival of the Bonfires event, to be held on December 13-15 at Lutcher Recreational Park.
On Friday and Saturday, the night will be commemorated with an authentic Cajun Christmas Bonfire lighting. The three days of fun includes food, live entertainment, crafts and carnival rides.
The Gumbo Cook-Off, Potato Salad Showdown and Bread Pudding Bake-Off, collectively, is one of the festival’s biggest draws. Sixty teams will compete with one another — though, no matter the result, the crowd is the biggest winner with a wide-selection of tasty meals to dig into.
“It’s probably the most popular of all,” said Rhonda Lee, president of the Festival of the Bonfires. “Friday is our biggest night. It really brings in a lot of people. That’s when we tend to see the most visitors from out of state.”
Saturday yields the Festival of the Bonfires Children’s Pageant to be held at 9 a.m. Any girl between the ages of 0-12 and any boy between the ages of 0-3 is eligible to compete.
On Sunday there will then be a 5K walk/run beginning at 8:30 a.m.
“We anticipate between 100 and 150 people participating in the run,” said Lee. “It always sees a great turnout.”
There will also be a gingerbread house contest to be held on Saturday. An antique, classic and muscle car show is to be held on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a cruising parade following to the River Road Parishes at 1:15 p.m.
The Million Mutt March, a small-scale dog walk and show, is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday, with canines competing in a series of categories ranging from the expected, like tennis ball fetching, to the very humorous, like the pet-owner lookalike contest.
Musical acts currently scheduled to perform include Mr. Man, Times on Tunes, 90 West, Animosity, Off the Hook, Contraflow and Creole String Beans.
Admission to the festival is $4. Children under 10 and adults ages 62 and over are admitted free of charge.