Living Ind

Breaux Bridge Bash

Celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival

Festival International and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival get the lion's share of the headlines every spring festival season, but the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival remains one of Louisiana's best-kept secrets for music lovers. Founded in 1960 to celebrate the crawfish industry, the gathering at Parc Hardy in Breaux Bridge has blossomed into a premier showcase for indigenous local music.

This year's lineup is especially stellar. Beginning Friday night, May 6, until the final note is played on Sunday afternoon, May 8, Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival presents more than 25 esteemed Acadiana artists. On the zydeco front, listen for Rosie Ledet, Nathan Williams, Keith Frank, Curley Taylor, Preston Frank and Lil' Nathan; Cajun music gets its due with the Lucky Playboys, Steve Riley, Jambalaya, Feufollet, Jamie Bergeron, Horace Trahan and the Racines. The Bluerunners and Lil' Band O' Gold respectively bring a touch of rock and swamp pop, while Dexter Ardoin and Jeffery Broussard represent Creole music traditions.

That kind of talent attracts true music aficionados looking to avoid the crush of FIL and Jazz Fest crowds. John Fogerty made the pilgrimage in 1987, and Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd has also checked out the homegrown talent and scene.

The festival also honors its name with more than 20 different food vendors and multiple crawfish dishes for sale; a family atmosphere also contributes to the fun during the daytime, with carnival rides and contests, like crawfish races, for the kids. (Children under 12 are admitted free.) And with the long hot summer right around the corner, it's a perfect way to get one more outdoor music festival under your belt before the siren call of air conditioning kicks in.

Admission to the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival is $5 Friday, May 6; $10 Saturday, May 7; $5 Sunday, May 8; or three-day passes are available for $15. For the complete music lineup and more info, see p. 34, call 332-6655 or visit