Here’s what you can expect at this year’s Cajun Heritage Fest

Published 2:44 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Whether you have a hint of Cajun, full-blown Cajun or just want to know about the Cajun culture, there’s a festival for that.

The annual Cajun Heritage Fest is set for April 1 at Carl A. Parker Multipurpose Center, with doors opening at 11 a.m.

The festival promotes the shared Cajun history of Southeast Texans and Louisianans through music and food, organizers said.

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Officials announced the event line-up and amenities inside the Texas Artist Museum Wednesday, where guests had a chance to sample gumbo from Miss B’s Take-Out of Bridge City, as well as boudin balls and potato salad.

The sampling of Cajun food was paired with the Gator mistress, also known as Tammy Kotzur, executive director of the Port Arthur Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Pam Trosclair, secretary of the Southeast Texas Arts Council, which is sponsoring the event, laid out the upcoming activities, tied to the Cajun heritage.

Pictured are Tammy Kotzur, executive director of the Port Arthur Convention and Visitors Bureau, left, and Pam Trosclair, secretary of the Southeast Texas Arts Council. (Mary Meaux/The News)

Pass a good time

Debbie Pletcher, president of SETAC, said Cajun Heritage Fest is fun.

Pletcher said people are happy and dancing at the event.

“I think this is really important,” Pletcher said. “You know, everybody talks about heritage. It’s important to keep that Cajun heritage available because so many of us have children that are growing up, and you don’t want to lose that heritage through the years. I know it’s been passed down to me my whole life, and it’s just important to keep that.”

The schedule

Live musical entertainment is planned from Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin’ Cajuns, Leroy Thomas and the Zydeco Roadrunners, Travis Matte and the Kingpins and Dylan Aucoin and the Judice Ramblers.

Past musicians include Grammy award winners Jo-El Sonnier and Wayne Toups.

Music begins at noon, and the dance floor is open all day.

There will be a variety of Cajun food vendors, beer and beverages, dance contests, crawfish racing and eating contests and children’s activities.

Some Cajun food was set out for the media event announcing the festival. (Mary Meaux/The News)

Additional activities tied to Cajun heritage

There’s additional ways to celebrate the Cajun heritage. The Cajun Caravan is from March 31 to April 8 and is a self-guided tour through the area’s Cajun historical markers, restaurants and Cajun-themed events. And if you get a chance, organizers ask participants to stop by Cajun restaurants such as Judice’s 1927, Judice’s Café, Reel Cajun, The Schooner and Touch of Cajun.

On March 31, the Museum of the Gulf Coast is hosting screenings of the award winning documentary “Roots of Fire: A Louisiana French Music Documentary Project” by Laboi Creative LLC.

Also on March 31, Clifford Distilling, 235 Procter St., is hosting Cajun Eatz food truck and the Humidor Cigar Lounge beginning at 5 p.m. Jude Moreau, local Cajun musician and accordion expert, is providing live music.

Nederland Chamber of Commerce will be at La Maison Acadienne, 1500 Boston Ave., Nederland, from 1- 4 p.m. April 2 with a historical reenactment of Acadian life and culture.

For ticket prices and more information, go to Ages 12 and under are free.