orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Local News

April 9, 2014

Mauriceville Crawfish Festival returns for 34th year

MAURICEVILLE — The biggest celebration of crawfish and fun is taking place this weekend in Orange County.

The 34th Annual Mauriceville Crawfish Festival takes place this coming weekend. The festival is being held from 5 p.m. - 11 p.m., Friday, April 11, and re-opens at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 12 and stays open until midnight. The festival concludes its weekend run from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday, April 13. The Crawfish Festival grounds are located on State Highway 62 approximately one mile south of State Highway 12.

Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for students and senior citizens on Friday, and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., Saturday. Admission is $7 for everyone after 5 p.m., Saturday. Admission is $4 per person on Sunday. Children ages 5 and younger are admitted free of charge all weekend.

“We are really excited about this festival this year,” said Kathy Keath, festival chairperson. “We’ve had a few rough years with the weather, and the forecast looks good for this weekend. We worry about the weather every year, so we’re excited for some good weather for once.”

In recent years, the festival has faced its share of inclement weather which turned much of the grounds into a mudpit and kept attendance at a minimum. Keath said the festival committee made it a priority throughout the past year to keep the grounds in prime condition to prevent such issues this year.

“Our grounds look really good this year,” she added. “We have had our grounds people take great care of it all year. Even with all of the rain we have had, it has held up nicely and will be in good condition for the weekend.”

The carnival is always a great attraction at the Mauriceville Crawfish Festival and this year should be no exception. Wristbands are available for $20 for each time period. Time slots are 6 p.m. - 10 p.m., Friday; noon - 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. - 10 p.m., Saturday; and 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday.

Keath said there is a new feature to the festival this year that should have plenty of people excited. Beer.

“We are serving beer for the first time ever at the Mauriceville Crawfish Festival,” Keath said. “In the past, we have allowed people to bring coolers, but not this year. There are no coolers allowed. We have partnered up with Budweiser and will be selling Budweiser products for those of legal drinking age to enjoy.”

Keath said the Mauriceville Crawfish Festival has always considered itself to be a big supporter of the community, and this year is no different.

“The Mauriceville Youth Football Association will once again be selling the crawfish, and they do a great job every year,” Keath explained. “It’s their biggest fundraiser for their organization each year, and has helped them with a lot of things for their league, and we are glad to do it.

“Parents of the LC-M Project Graduation will be working the beer booth and they will get some of the proceeds for that,” Keath continued. “Our parking is free this year, but they will also be assisting in parking cars and will accept donations for that. We try to be very involved with our community, and we are happy to do what we can.”

Live music is always a popular attraction at the Mauriceville Crawfish Festival, and this year will be no different with three great days of music.

Performing from 7 p.m. - 11 p.m., Friday, is area country band Drivin’ Dixie. Saturday’s schedule includes The Cadillacs from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., Creole Cookin’ from 4:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., and Jamie Talbert and the Band of Demons from 9 p.m. - midnight. Sunday’s music will feature local artist Tyler Darby performing an acoustic set from noon until 3 p.m. on the festival stage.

The annual parade will take place at 9 a.m., Saturday, along State Highway 12 in Mauriceville. It will be led by parade marshals Jeff and Teresa Viator.

According to Keath, the Viators are big supporters of the community through volunteer work with the crawfish festival and the Mauriceville Senior Citizen Supper each Christmas.

“They have always been very involved in the community in every way they can, and we this is our way of recognizing them for their dedication,” Keath stated.

Keath said approximately 25 teams are expected to participate in this annual barbecue contest as teams compete to be the winning team in categories such as chicken, ribs and brisket.

There will also be 20 food vendors offering typical festival-style cuisine such as shrimp-on-a-stick, pork-a-bobs, crab balls, barbecue, pistolettes, bloomin’ onions and more.

Along with food, there will be dozens of arts and crafts vendors selling merchandise of all types, such as jewelry, purses, art and more.

Other exciting activities will include a crawfish eating contest at 2 p.m., Saturday, followed by crawfish races, a duck calling contest and the announcement of the barbecue contest winners at 3 p.m., Saturday.

“There’s something for everyone at our festival this year, and we couldn’t be more excited,” Keath said. “It’s going to be a great weekend and we’ll have more than enough crawfish.”

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