20080430-living-0101.jpgYour legs are still recovering from all that dancing you did at Festival International. Maybe you’re a little strapped for cash and can’t make it to the second weekend of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. You’re thinking maybe you’ll just spend a few quiet days at home this weekend.

Blasphemy.

It traditionally plays second fiddle to FIL and Jazz Fest, but the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival ­— established in 1960, a year after the city was declared the Crawfish Capital of the World — remains one of the best local festivals in Acadiana. It represents the final musical, cultural and culinary extravaganza before summer’s brutal heat, with a music lineup focusing solely on the cream of the crop of Acadiana’s Cajun, Creole, zydeco and swamp pop bands. Thirty headliners are booked this year, including Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Travis Matte & the Kingpins, Keith Frank & Soileau Zydeco Family Band, and Lil Nathan & The Zydeco Big Timers.

This year continues the tradition of commissioning inspiring local artists — like past honorees Francis Pavy, Dickie Landry and Kelly Guidry — for the official festival poster. The 2008 poster (pictured) is by Breaux Bridge brothers Shine and William Sonnier, whose folksy self-taught outsider art has been displayed at Cité des Artsa and Café des Amis.

“We wanted to have fun doing it,” says Shine Sonnier. “The poster really [reflects] our imagination. We use a lot of colors and found material — cardboard, tin, wheels.” (The original piece is currently on display at Breaux Bridge’s Coffee Break.)

And if you’re really feeling bold, you can vie for the bragging rights that come with winning the festival’s crawfish-eating contest. Consider yourself forewarned: the current record holder consumed almost 56 pounds of crawfish in one sitting.


Admission to the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival at Parc Hardy is $5 on Friday, May 2 and Sunday, May 4; $10 on Saturday, May 3; or a three-day pass is available for $15. No ice chests, wagons or pets are allowed. For more info, call or visit www.bbcrawfest.com or call (337) 332-6655.

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