Cuckoo for cracklins

by Elizabeth Rose

The Port Barre Lions Club is hosting the 28th annual Port Barre Cracklin Festival this weekend, complete with a cracklin cook-off. Few things are easier to gorge on than handfuls of fresh cracklins. Salty, crisp and fatty, cracklins are an indulgence that few can resist.

The Port Barre Lions Club started the Cracklin Festival in 1985 and it's still going strong with a pageant, parade, carnival, live music and the cracklin cook-off. Now, the cracklins are not judged purely on taste, but also on chef showmanship. There is a professional category for established restaurants and chefs, and an amateur category for those who have perfected their cracklin cooking at home. Judging is based on cracklin quality as well as booth presentation.

The festivals is at Veterans Memorial Park in Port Barre and begins tonight at 5 p.m. with family night. The festival opens tomorrow at 5 p.m. and Geno Delafose kicks off the live music at 7:30 p.m., followed by Krossfyre at 10 p.m.

On Saturday, the real party starts with a parade down Saizan Street at 10 a.m., followed by Lil Kenny and the Heartbreakers at noon, Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys at 2:30 p.m., The Joel Martin Project at 5 p.m., Damon Troy at 7:30 p.m. and One Trick Pony at 10 p.m. The cracklin cook-off is an all-day affair.

On Sunday, Horace Trahan starts at noon followed by Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin' Cajuns at 4 p.m.

Admission for the festival is $5 per day per person. Children 10 and under get in free.