Streets of Crawfish: A Celebration of Cajun Culture

The folkstreamers out there may find this festival right up their alley. It sounds like good times and good eats, and more than that, it celebrates the influence of Cajun culture on the Delta area. The festival will be held on April 30th of this year in Leland, MS, also home to the Highway 61 Blues Museum.

Festival chairman Billy Johnson said the “The south Louisiana natives who have migrated to the Mississippi Delta are a big part of the Delta and a big part of our culture.” He tells how they “took old buckshot farmland and showed other farmers how to grow rice on it.” So, if you’re interested in exploring Cajun, Creole and related cultures of the deep south, try Dry Wood exploring the celebrations of black Creoles in French Louisiana, Mosquitoes and High Water examining the Spanish-speaking “Islenos” who live in the bayous east of New Orleans or Gravel Springs Fife and Drum the music of a community in northwest Mississippi.

The Delta Democrat times published an article on the festival with all the details.

Streets of Crawfish
By KERI HOLT – Delta Democrat times

Crawfish, crawfish and more crawfish will be served up hot and spicy straight off the streets of Leland on April 30.

The party band of the South, The KrackerJacks and the hot, young Cajun band, The Lost Bayou Ramblers, will set the beat for the giant crustacean feast, and various family activities are planned to complete the Leland Crawfish Festival.

“We are going to have a big party in the street downtown in Leland,” said Billy Johnson, festival chairman. “The Lost Bayou Ramblers are from Lafayette, La., and their French lyrics and danceable Cajun beat are something everyone should enjoy.”

With its Cajun recipes and activities, the festival is designed to honor Louisiana natives and remember the importance their presence has brought to the area. During the day, boiled crawfish will be served by Mark Azlin of the Bourbon Mall. There will also be a crawfish-cooking contest and arts and crafts. It’s all part of a celebration of Cajun food, music and culture

“The south Louisiana natives who have migrated to the Mississippi Delta are a big part of the Delta and a big part of our culture,” Johnson said. “They took old buckshot farmland and showed other farmers how to grow rice on it. Now rice is the one of the most important thing grown in the Delta. And Cajun recipes are a major part of the Delta, especially crawfish. This festival reflects the influence they have had on the Delta.”

The main ingredient for the crawfish cook-off must be crawfish. It will be judged by three renown Cajun cooks. Contestants must bring a dish for eight to Flavors by 10 a.m. April 30. First place prize is a $100 gift certificate. Second place is dinner for two at Flavors. Third place wins a one-year subscription to Leland Progress. For information or to enter call Sue Kingsbury at 686-4128.

The festival will begin at 11 a.m. It will kick off with The Lost Bayou Ramblers. The KrackerJacks will perform from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The festival will take place in downtown Leland. Participants are invited to bring their lawnchairs, yet no coolers.

Admission is free with the donation of two cans of food to help the Leland Food Pantry. The pantry provides an invaluable service to needy families in the community.

Anyone interested in being a vendor should call the Highway 61 Blues Museum at 686-7646.

Keri Holt can be reached at (662) 378-0724 or keriholt@ddtonline.com

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