A little weekend chill didn’t keep St. Patrick’s Day revelers from celebrating the ninth annual Patty in the Parc on Saturday.
The live concert event at Parc International was headlined by rock group Blues Traveler, with performances from Grammy winner and Patty in the Parc veteran Wayne Toups and 1980’s glam rock tribute band L.A. Roxx.
Brandon Journet, also known as “DJ Digital” on Hot 107.9, said the Townsquare Media and Theatre League of Louisiana event regularly attracts around 4,000 to 5,000 people each year. Live music is a huge part of Acadiana’s culture, and it’s exciting to be able to bring music lovers out for a community night, he said.
The concert stemmed from the annual Blarney Blast event at Bennigan’s, an Irish pub-themed restaurant. When the Lafayette location closed, Townsquare Media decided to keep the popular celebration alive and eventually moved the event to downtown Lafayette as a stand-alone concert, Journet said.
When the gates opened at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, dozens of people flooded into the downtown park dressed in their St. Patrick’s Day best, including green feather boas, witty holiday T-shirts and four-leaf clover headpieces. Early arrivals set up camp near the stage, grabbing a front row seat for first act Wayne Toups as couples danced to the local favorite.
Sisters Rebecca and Emily Brumfield said they were enjoying a night of sisterly bonding. Emily Brumfield, who moved to Arkadelphia, Arkansas, from Cut Off, said she was happy to be back in Cajun country and enjoying the music of home.
Rebecca Brumfield, 29, said she was thrilled to experience the passion and energy of live music in a fun community setting. The two sisters, bedecked in festive St. Patrick’s Day beads and face glitter, said they think exposure to music is important, and they’re glad events like this exist.
“You get people of all ages. It’s an event where kids can experience live music, and you can make memories together,” Emily Brumfield said. “You can always take music with you everywhere.”
Event organizer Rob Kirkpatrick agreed that one of the most important elements of Patty at the Parc is that it’s family friendly. Kirkpatrick said parents can use the evening as a date night or bring their children along. There’s enough options for everyone, he said.
Erin Davis and her husband saw the concert as an opportunity to introduce their 18-month-old son, Rhett, to more live music and local culture. The couple set-up camp in the grass toward the back of the venue, laying out a blanket and folding chairs to enjoy the evening with other friends and their children.
Davis said her parents brought her to concerts and festivals growing up, and she wanted to give her son the same appreciation of Acadiana’s family-oriented, music-focused culture. Davis, a big Blues Traveler fan, knew immediately she wanted to come out when she saw the band on the lineup.
Being able to bring her son was the perfect cap to the evening.
“I want him to have the same experiences I had growing up,” Davis said. “I don’t want to leave him at home with a babysitter. I want him to enjoy things with us.”
Editor's note: This story was updated to correctly list the event organizer's name as Rob Kirkpatrick. A previous version of the story listed Mr. Kirkpatrick's name as Rob Fitzpatrick. The Acadiana Advocate regrets the error.