LAFAYETTE — For nearly three decades, Sid Williams has hosted a zydeco party to help put food on the tables for hungry families at Thanksgiving.
The tradition continues Nov. 19 when his El Sido’s Zydeco & Blues Club on North St. Antoine Street will be the scene of the 28th annual Thanksgiving Drive.
“Growing up, we always had something to eat, but we were poor — working in the field and all that,” Williams said. “I believe that if anybody got anything they could give, they should try to help somebody. That’s the way I look at it.”
More than 15 bands will play from 6 p.m. until 2 a.m. to benefit families that are struggling to put a decent meal on their table this Thanksgiving holiday.
The $10 admission, plus any additional donations, will go towards filling baskets with foods, like cornbread and rice, to feed families of up to four people.
Performers at the benefit include Rockin’ Dopsie Jr., Buckwheat Zydeco, Nathan Williams & the Zydeco Cha Cha’s, Connie G. & the Soul Sista, Kenny Wayne and Patrick Henry & the Liberation Band.
Every year, jambalaya is served at no extra cost to both the musicians and those attending the event to mirror the drive’s purpose of feeding everyone.
Mary Chevalier, whose Pillow of Hope group helps organize the event, said she believes they can reach their goal of feeding more than 800 people through this year’s drive.
“We normally have a turnout of about 500 people, so we met our goal last year, which was about 200 families,” she said. “We are just hoping to reach the same number this year with our baskets. Our main priority is just try to reach as many people as we can and provide as much food as we can.”
“Everybody needs somebody,” Williams said. “I got people, like Buckwheat and Nathan. I have great sponsors, like Schilling (Distributing Company). You got to help people, and I’m glad if I could help even one person. That’s what’s driven this for the past 28 years: Helping people.”
Chevalier said the aim is to “put a meal on the table for our families, who are less fortunate, so they can have a decent lunch and a hot meal. It warms our hearts knowing they aren’t going without eating. We just want to reach as many people as possible.”