Frisco Fest: Crafts, cars, bands & more highlight attractions

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, March 1, 2017

GARYVILLE — Kim Fontenot has seen it for more than a dozen years now.

Hundreds of visitors from near and far line up outside the gates of San Francisco Plantation in Garyville and come in to enjoy more than 100 of the best craftspeople in the region.

That aspect of the fun is just part of the two-day Frisco Fest, which gets underway March 11 and 12 on plantation grounds, 2646 River Road in Garyville.

“I am excited about all of the craftspeople,” said Fontenot, Plantation general manager. “They are like family. I’m excited to see droves of people at the gates coming in to participate in the festival. We look forward to supporting the artists in our surrounding area.”

Craftsperson Susan Sheets of Simply Susan will be on hand with her unique blend of jewelry and accessories.ffest3

She recently attended the world’s largest beading show, meeting many new sources and coming away with a lot of new purchases.

“Simply Susan is eagerly trying out my new components, and I have made many new designs,” Sheets said. “I hope to ‘Wow’ my customers.”

She said the 14th annual Frisco Fest, with its beautiful plantation and grounds, is a great laid back atmosphere for a wide variety of handcrafted and unique merchandise.

“The good is always great,” she said. “Hopefully the weather cooperates. The organizers of this event are always so friendly and ready to help. It’s one of my favorite events to participate in.”

Stacey Rosales-Pelas, Louisiana artist and owner of S.J.R.P. Custom Creations, said Frisco Fest is usually the first event her and her husband attend each year.

“The grounds are beautifully taken care of, and we personally enjoy being under the big oak trees in front of the plantation,” she said. “People should be excited to go out for the reasons we enjoy it but also to be a part of it by supporting their local community, artisans, musicians and having great food and drinks while they’re at it.”

She said attendees will enjoy her recycled slates from the area, all painted with a Louisiana theme. They will also see her painting personalized slates and ornaments.

“We offer slate wall plaques, slate on wood, slate ornaments and magnets — all hand painted by me,” Rosales-Pelas said.

Organizers with the 14th Annual San Francisco Plantation Frisco Fest March 11 and 12 say more than 100 craft booth events help highlight two full days of attractions.

Organizers with the 14th Annual San Francisco Plantation Frisco Fest March 11 and 12 say more than 100 craft booth events help highlight two full days of attractions.

Marathon Petroleum Company in Garyville serves as one of the event’s chief sponsors, and Community Relations Representative Aspen Murphy said this year’s festival is a great opportunity to showcase new improvements.

“We believe that a complete understanding of the plantation history and lifestyle requires going beyond focusing only on the charming attributes of the plantation house, furnishings and grounds,” Murphy said. “We wanted to tell a more complete story. So, we have worked with local historians to more accurately incorporate aspects of the slave experience into the tour guides’ scripts, and we have significantly enhanced several of the displays in the slave quarters to make them more professional, descriptive and weather resistant.”

Murphy said the festival serves as the plantation’s largest fundraiser, helping keep the national historic landmark open, adding more than 100 Marathon volunteers help to make the festival possible.

Great food, a car show, 1-mile run and 5-mile run are also attractions.

A March 11 performance from classic rock band IMAGE and March 12 show by Geno Delafose and the French Rockin Boogie are also guaranteed to keep attendees happy.

“The venue is so awesome for the bands,” Fontenot said.  “They love coming out there. The local community supports the plantation, of course, but they also love and support IMAGE. That barn is going to be full Saturday with local people.

“Geno Delafose is international now. He fills the barn, not only with local people, but people from all over the place. They come in and dance the day away.”

At 14 years strong, Fontenot said Frisco Fest offers a great venue for local and out-of-town attendees to have fun and enjoy many attractions.

“The people are just so friendly and kind,” she said. “It’s a great day for the community, families, single people, people that love cars and people that love to run.”

There is a $5 admission and hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. A kids play area is also planned. Call 888-322-1756 for more information.