orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

October 16, 2012

Local festival offers taste of Cajun culture

Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — It’s time for a party - Cajun style.

The local chapter of the Cajun French Music Association (CFMA), the Gulf Coast Cajuns, will hold its fourth annual Cajun Festival from 10 a.m. -5:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20, at VFW Post 2775, located at 5303 N. 16th St. in Orange. Admission is $7 at the door and everyone is welcome.

This year’s festival music lineup features Briggs Brown and The Bayou Cajuns, along with chapter members Bobby Caswell, Bubba Brown, and the Gulf Coast Playboys.

This event has become a major highlight on the Cajun festival circuit and its faithful followers.

“We have one of the best festivals than anyone else in the CFMA,” said Rusty Benoit of the Gulf Coast Cajuns chapter of the Cajun French Music Association. “To be one of the best festivals for as young as our chapter is really says something about our members and the Orange area.”

The popular festival will include the traditional crowning of the Cajun Heritage King between 11:30 a.m. - noon, Saturday, and other great events and activities such as a live auction, a cake walk, a 50/50 split the pot, a raffle for a barbecue pit and tasty food such as cracklins, links, gumbo, pork stew and more.

“We haven’t really changed much with our festival since it started, except for the bands each year” Benoit added. “All of the events and food are so popular, we can’t change it. We did add hot links to the menu this year, but everything else is the same.”

Attendance at the annual event has been impressive each fall as hundreds of fans and members of the Cajun culture turn out to celebrate with a day of music, food and fun.

“Our festival is a big success because of the support we receive from the community and our sponsors, like the Orange County Commissioners Court, City of Orange, and both the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce and Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce,” he continued.

The Cajun French Music Association has chapters across a wide region, including local chapters in Orange and Nederland, among others in San Antonio and Houston. Several can be found in Louisiana in places such as New Orleans, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles and Houma, and one has even been established in Chicago.

The purpose of the event is to raise funds for a variety of projects. The Gulf Coast Cajuns is a non-profit organization and, in past years, the chapter uses funds to provide student scholarships and assist with other community projects during the holiday season.

Call Rusty Benoit at 409-791-7734 for more information.