'Fun Finders' eating away in our fair city

by Anna Purdy

The Fun Finders have descended upon Lafayette and let's hope they leave feeling memorably full so Lafayette can be deemed "Best for Food" in Rand McNally's competition.

Rand McNally is holding a competition jointly sponsored by USA Today to map the best small cities in America. In May of this year more than 600 towns were nominated in five categories: Most Beautiful, Most Patriotic, Friendliest, Most Fun and our category, Best for Food. The Hub City made the top six. Now five teams of two people are spreading across the country deciding each category's winner and the team visiting Lafayette is called The Fun Finders.

Jim and Bonnie Parr are The Fun Finders and come from Saint Petersburg, Fla. So far the couple has been to The French Press, Charley G's, Blue Dog, Randol's and more and as of this writing are supposed to be having lunch at Don's Seafood downtown. This afternoon a press conference is being held at Vermilionville to welcome the Parrs to Acadiana where they will be presented with the keys to the city by Joey Durel and named "Honorary Cajuns." Let's hope for their sakes induction doesn't involve being able to add a tablespoon of cayenne to a bowl of gumbo. The Louisiana Seafood Promotion Board will also present some information on Gulf seafood to The Fun Finders at the conference.

Tonight and tomorrow morning before their departure onto another of the top six "Best of Food" cities the couple will be eating at several more locations around Lafayette as well as working some of the mountains of food off tonight dancing at Blue Moon Saloon.

So what does all this hoopla mean? The winning towns will be featured in USA Today, in the 2013 Rand McNally Road Atlas and on Winners will be announced July 22 in New Orleans at the Destination Marketing Associations International conference. This could be a great boon for our economy.

Businesses around Lafayette are encouraged to put out signs welcoming The Fun Finders. For more information contact Carlee Alm-LeBar at 291-8307 or at [email protected].

Follow the Fun Finders Twitter feed here.

Check out their Facebook page here.