BREAUX BRIDGE — When it comes to straight-up, throw-down Cajun and zydeco music by traditional standard-bearers and those bands pushing the envelope, the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival puts it all on the table.
And so it goes again, as the festival runs Friday through Sunday in Parc Hardy in the bayou town known as the Crawfish Capital of the World.
Gates for the annual Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival open at 4 p.m. Friday at Parc Hardy, 1200 Rees St. The event starts at 10 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 on Friday and Sunday, and $10 on Saturday. A three-day pass is $15.
This year's musical lineup includes Les Ferrailles, Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band, Wayne Toups & Zydecajun, Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, the Huval Family Band, Horace Trahan & the Ossun Express, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha-Chas, and Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys.
In addition to that stellar lineup of music, the festival will have crawfish-eating contests and races, Cajun and zydeco dance lessons and contests, a crawfish étouffée cook-off, arts and craft booths, a carnival midway — and even a Sunday morning parade — all in the name of the Cajun and Creole heritages celebrated in a family-friendly environment. A full schedule and more information is available at bbcrawfest.com.
That heritage is not lost on guitarist Sam Broussard. He will perform at 3:30 p.m. Saturday with Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys on the festival stage.
“I’m watching people being happy and enjoying their heritage,” Broussard said of past performances at the festival. “That’s a good feeling.”
The difficulty of being in a regional roots band comes when the group takes its music on the road. Away from home, there can be the potential to cater to pop sensibilities of those unfamiliar with roots music.
“I worry about it mutating into something unrecognizable from the rest of America, becoming more homogenized,” Broussard said. “What you see at the crawfish festival and similar festivals, you realize that (roots music and culture is) alive and well."
However, it’s an altogether different thing when Cajun and zydeco musicians push the envelope at home. Instead of accommodating outside tastes, these local Cajun and zydeco bands follow their hearts to explore and expand cultural moorings.
Broussard sees those new influences in Louisiana bands such as the Lost Bayou Ramblers, Feufollet, Jourdan Thibodeaux et Les Rodailleurs, Pine Leaf Boys, Revelers and Bonsoir, Catin. These bands excel because they remain grounded while leaning forward.
That makes Broussard optimistic about the Cajun and zydeco music scene: "There are some really good things going on."
BREAUX BRIDGE CRAWFISH FESTIVAL
WHEN: Gates open at 4 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday
WHERE: Parc Hardy, 1290 Rees St., Breaux Bridge
COST: $5 Friday and Sunday, $10 Saturday. $15 three-day passes are also available.
THE MUSIC SCHEDULE
- 5:30 p.m.: Les Ferrailles
- 7:45 p.m.: Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band
- 10 p.m.: Richard LeBouef
- 5:15 p.m.: Corey Ledet
- 7:15 p.m.: High Performance
- 9:30 p.m.: Leroy Thomas & the Zydeco Roadrunners
Breaux Bridge tent
- 8 p.m.: Kegan Navarre & Louisiana Traditions
- 10 a.m.: Forest Huval
- 11:45 a.m.: Jambalaya
- 1:30 p.m.: Nathan Williams & the Zydeco Cha-Chas
- 3:15 p.m.: Wayne Toups & Zydecajun
- 5:30 p.m.: Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band
- 7:45 p.m.: Nik-L-Beer
- 10 p.m.: Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie
- 10:15 a.m.: Joe Guidry Reloaded Zydeco
- Noon: Huval Family Band
- 1:45 p.m.: Rusty Metoyer & Zydeco Krush
- 3:30 p.m.: Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys
- 5:15 p.m.: Jamie Bergeron & the Kickin' Cajuns
- 7:15 p.m.: Horace Trahan & the Ossun Express
- 9:30 p.m.: Travis Matte & the Kingpins
Breaux Bridge tent
- 7:30 p.m.: La Recolte
- 9 a.m.: Cajun Stompers
- 10:45 a.m.: Brett Denais & T-Rouge
- 12:30 p.m.: Louisiana Red
- 2:15 p.m.: Damon Troy & Friends
- 10:30 a.m.: Hunter Courville
- 12:15 p.m.: Paul Daigle & Cajun Gold
- 2 p.m.: Wayne & Same Ol 2 Step
Breaux Bridge tent
- 2 p.m.: Brazos Huval School of Music Students
CAN'T MISS EVENTS AT THE CRAWFISH FESTIVAL
4:45 p.m.: Celebrity crawfish eating contest, crawfish stage
5:15 p.m.: Cajun dance lessons, Breaux Bridge tent
1 p.m.: Zydeco dance contest, festival stage
2 p.m.: Cajun dance contest, festival stage; crawfish eating contest, Breaux Bridge tent
3:15 p.m.: Crawfish races, Breaux Bridge tent
9 a.m.: Crawfish étouffée cook-off, Breaux Bridge tent; judging and sampling begin at noon
9:30 a.m.: Parade, starting at Bridge Street and ending at Parc Hardy