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Cajun Festival - 'son of a gun, we'll have big fun'

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Photo by Judith Pannebaker
"Dress in style, go hog wild, me oh my oh, son of a gun, we'll have big fun" at the Cajun Festival Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Lakehills Civic Center on Park Road 37. For more information, visit www.cajunfestival-medinalake.com.

Hank Williams never got to the Cajun Festival in Lakehills, but his song "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)" captures perfectly the spirit of this annual hommage de Arcadien.
Now in its 34th incarnation, the Cajun Fest offers an all-day celebration of "la joie de vivre," for one day only, Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Lakehills Civic Center on Park Road 37. The fest features, as Hank sang once upon a time, " ... jambalaya and crawfish pie and filé gumbo ..." along with more great food, Cajun and zydeco music, arts and crafts and, of course, the Great Gumbo Cookoff.
Rated the best festival of its kind in Texas, this traditional event has received state and national recognition for its authentic recreation of the aromas and sounds of the bayou. Each year, the event attracts thousands of visitors.
Two performance pavilions offer non-stop music throughout the day and into the night with the entertainment line-up offering the best in traditional French Cajun and Zydeco music.
Schedule for the "Fais Do Do Pavilion" includes:
• 11 am, Introductions
• 11 am - 12:45 pm, Dixieland sounds of the Band-Aids Jazz Band
• 12:15 pm, Medina Lake Second Line Dancers, sponsored by Karen Ripley Real Estate Management
• 1 pm - 3 pm, featured entertainer Ruben Moreno & Zydeco Re-Evolution
• 3:10 pm - 5:15 pm, featured artist Don Fontenot et Les Amis de la Louisiane
• 5:15 pm - 5:45 pm, Great Gumbo Cook-Off Awards
• 5:50 pm - 7:50 pm, Ruben Moreno and Zydeco Re-Evolution
• 8 pm - 10 pm, Don Fontenot et Les Amis de la Louisiane
This covered main pavilion boasts picnic tables and bleacher seating and, of course, a large - and always crowded - dance floor.
Entertainment on the Gazebo Stage includes:
• 11 am - 2:45 pm, Cher La Bas
• 1 pm - 5 pm, featured entertainer Donny Broussard and the Louisiana Stars
• 5:10 pm - 9 pm, The Countrymen
The Gazebo Stage features a large concrete dance floor and an outdoor area with a new covered pavilion and seating.
After music and dancing, thoughts naturally turn to food and, boy!, can they feed you at the Cajun Festival. I plan to bring beaucoup dinera and a large Mexican oilcloth shopping bag and simply stock up! You should, too.
The festival's culinary reputation has been built on an incredible foundation of authentic Cajun delicacies prepared by volunteer chefs. Strict attention is paid to Cajun tradition and exacting recipes and neither expense nor effort is spared in food preparation. Let it be noted, outside food vendors are never allowed to prepare dishes served at the Cajun Festival.
Along with Hank Williams' favorites mentioned in the lead paragraph, other specialties include Crawfish Etouffee, Red Beans and Rice, Cajun Meat Pies, Cajun Popcorn Shrimp, Fried Catfish, Shrimp on a Stick and Cajun Chicken Breast, as well as the Texas favorites, Kiolbassa Sausage on a Stick and Brisket Tacos. Desserts include my fav, fav, fav, Pecan Pralines, along with Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce and Pecan Tarts. I can't wait.
In addition, a rejuvenated Arts & Crafts area offers a respite from twirling around the dance floors and indulging in blissful gluttony. This year, vendors will offer decorative shadow boxes, featuring Elvis, the Beatles and the West; stamped stainless steel rings; metal, western and glass art; handmade soaps; homemade jellies, jams and salsas; and clothing and jewelry, among other selections.
The gates open at 11 am and the fun continues until 10 pm. Admission is $10, with children ages 10 years and under admitted free. Free parking and shuttle service is also available.
Everyone's encouraged to "dress in style and go hog wild, me oh my oh." As they like to say at this not-to-be-missed experience, "There's never a dull moment at the Cajun Festival" and "les bon temps" never stop.
For more information, call 830-751-3130, visit www.cajunfestival-medinalake.com or email cutaway12@att.net.