Frisco Fest returns March 3, 4: San Francisco Plantation opens up historic house for community party
Published 12:08 am Wednesday, February 21, 2018
GARYVILLE — More than 100 craft vendors will set up tents on the typically quiet San Francisco Plantation grounds March 3 and 4, transforming the scenic area into a site of lively family entertainment.
Entering its 15th year, Frisco Fest has become a community tradition, highlighting the arts and supporting the preservation of the historic San Francisco Plantation.
The two-day event treats guests to mouth-watering food, live music, craft sales and a menagerie of children’s activities from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day at 2646 River Road in Garyville.
Entry is $5 per person, and an additional $10 pays for a tour of San Francisco Plantation, established in 1849.
General Manager Kim Fontenot said Frisco Fest has events for all ages, whether it’s shopping, admiring vehicles at the car show or bringing children to pony rides and an on-site petting zoo.
“We try to have a little something for everyone,” Fontenot said. “Year after year, you build family relationships with the vendors and really come to love these people and admire what they do.”
Uniquely designed wooden swings, rocking chairs, toys, yard signs and jewelry are among the handmade crafts offered at Frisco Fest, Fontenot said.
A number of food vendors will be present, selling everything from jellies and kettle corn to jambalaya and fried shrimp baskets.
Saturday/March 4 highlights include the “Cruisin’ the Plantation” car show and “Tour De’ San Francisco” 25- and 45-mile bike races, the latter of which stretches all the way to St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Convent.
Swamp pop, R&B and Soul band Big River Express is slated to perform Saturday under a covered barn area with ample seating.
Renowned zydeco accordionist and singer Geno Delafose & The French Rockin’ Boogie returns to Frisco Fest for a 1 p.m. performance on Sunday/March 4. Registration and pricing for the car show, bike race and fun run is available at sanfranciscoplantation.org. A Dry Zone fitted T-shirt is included with registration.
Fontenot said the competitive events draw in large crowds and account for most of the proceeds, which average about $100,000 per festival.
Regardless, she plans on inviting craft vendors for years to come because they have become such an integral part of Frisco Fest.
“It would be easier to just have the run and race, but we want to give back to the community by opening up the grounds to a unique group of artists,” Fontenot said.
“They appreciate it, and they love us for doing it. We want the community to come out and help these people keep being artists and show their creativity.”
Tour guide Chelsea Thibodaux has attended Frisco Fest as a guest and employee.
For her, the highlight is visiting the food vendors for delicious seafood and hamburgers.
She said Frisco Fest draws in people from near and far and goes a long way toward advertising San Francisco Plantation.
“I’d say the food and music draw in more locals, and the crafts draw in a lot of tourists,” Thibodaux said.
“It makes more people aware that we’re here, and I find a lot of people come for the crafts and then realize they can come into the house. A lot of them actually end up coming back later for the full tour.”
Fontenot said keeping San Francisco Plantation open to visitors is a vital part of teaching American history.
“It really is critical that we raise money to keep this national historic site open,” Fontenot said, adding regular repair and upkeep of the home is pricey. “We’re lucky that we do have support from Marathon.”
Marathon Petroleum Company LP is one of Frisco Fest’s many sponsors, and representatives from the organization were instrumental in establishing the event.
In the 15 years since, Marathon and many supporting organizations have showed up on site annually to cook and serve food.
For more information about Frisco Fest 2018, call 1-888-322-1756, 985-535-2341 or visit sanfranciscoplantation.org.