The second LaFête des Bayous drew double the crowd of the inaugural event, and organizers are thrilled.
The four-day fair, held along the banks of the New River in St. Amant, raises money for Holy Rosary Catholic Church youth programs, organizer Dustin Clouatre said.
Clouatre and a small group of volunteers decided in 2016 to bring back the church's annual fair that ended in 1996. Clouatre was planning for the small church fair when floodwaters damaged more than 90 percent of the parishioners' homes.
Despite the flood, the fair went on and Clouatre said many pointed to the fair as one of the first positive community events after the flood.
The fair went from a fundraiser to a community healing event, said St. Amant Fire Chief James LeBlanc. "And this year, they did it again. Another success."
LeBlanc and members of his fire department were on hand opening day, Oct. 26, of this year's fair for "Boo with the Badge," where more than 60 businesses joined law enforcement and fire departments in handing out treats.
"These guys worked so hard to make this something St. Amant can be proud of," LeBlanc said.
LeBlanc credited some of the success and large crowds to new priest the Rev. Joshua Johnson. LeBlanc, who attends Holy Rosary, said attendance at Mass is up and more young people are getting involved in church activities.
"Father Joshua has breathed new life in our little church," Clouatre.
In addition to the trick-or-treating event, the fair included a fishing rodeo, car show, talent event, carnival rides, food and cooking contests.
The Gator GoRo Glow Throw 5K walk/run, hosted by the St. Amant High School Student Council and Gonzales Rotary Club, was moved this year to the fair. Proceeds from the event go to Louisiana Special Olympics and the Ascension Fund.
Clouatre said the fair was a way to bring St. Amant residents together for "fun and fellowship ... and some good food."
Neal Mire and his cooking helper, brother Dean Mire, won the jambalaya cooking contest and the father/son team of Arthur and Jared Shepheard captured the gumbo cooking title.
A Friday night thunderstorm shut things down a bit early, but Cloutre said it didn't impact attendance.