REMINDER: Find out what new rides, foods are planned for Nederland Heritage Festival

Published 8:00 am Monday, March 14, 2022

If Passports to Fun are an indication, the Nederland Heritage Festival is returning to a record year after COVID-19 forced it to close in 2021.

“This is the fastest we’ve ever sold out,” said Shannon Hemby, festival executive director, about the six-day unlimited ride cards that were gone by Feb. 28.

Hemby and her husband have been involved with the festival for 30 years. And like many parents, they’ve kept every passport their children have worn.

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This year those with them, as well as patrons who buy wristbands and tickets, are being treated to two new rides: Vertigo and Wacky Worm.

The former, Hemby mentioned, are suspended swings that bring riders 60 feet high.

The latter is a small roller coaster. But don’t let “small” be a deterrent.

“He said adults ride it, teenagers, kids love it,” Hemby said of GoldStar Amusement, the festival’s carnival vendor. “It’s a big hit everywhere they go.”

Another exciting addition this year is a new petting zoo that includes exotic animals such as kangaroos, lemurs and snakes that people can interact with and pet or hold.

What will be returning without much change is the food court, which offers a variety of different from 20 area non-profits who felt the financial crunch from missing last year’s event.

RELATED: Return of Heritage Festival means return of fundraising for local nonprofit food vendors

“A lot of them, this is their only fundraiser. And if it’s not their only, it’s their biggest of the year,” Hemby said. “Everybody is so excited. They’re ready.”

Two new vendors join the mix this year — Demolay and Faith Tabernacle Church.

Demolay is selling fried cookie dough, potato bites, fried ice cream and fried bacon. Faith Tabernacle Church is offering smoke Zumo links, smoked boudin and flavored teas.

The midway and food court open at 4 p.m. Tuesday/March 15, and operate through Sunday.

On Saturday/March 19, the Craft and Collectible Market joins the fun.

Live music this year includes Cajun Harmony, Spellbound, Curse and The Cure, and Donice Morace.

Also on Saturday/March 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Car and Motorcycle Show returns to Boston Avenue.

And of course the annual Treasure Hunt debuts March 14 with new clues posted daily at the Nederland Police Station.

“We’re just hoping for the best weather ever,” Hemby said. “And I really think even if it’s on the cool side, we’ll have a great turnout.