At the first-ever meeting of Orange County leaders to decide on granting a “mass gathering” permit Tuesday, April 5, the group chose to allow the function to continue with the blessing of the court. As recently revealed to the Orange County court, the permit is required by statute for events “held outside the municipality,” that “attracts or is expected to attract more than 2,500 persons, or more than 500 persons if 51 percent or more of those persons may reasonably be expected to be younger than 21 years of age; and it is planned or may be reasonably expected that alcoholic beverages will be sold, served, or consumed at or around the gather;” and “at which persons will remain for more than five continuous hours, or for any amount of time during the period beginning at 10 p.m. and ending at 4 a.m.”
County Judge Carl Thibodeaux said very few functions meet all the above criteria, so he doesn’t anticipate having to grant too many mass gathering permits; however, several are up for approval in the coming days.
The first permit request handled by the county came from the organizers of the Mauriceville Crawfish Festival, which will hold its 31st annual event beginning April 15. Crawfish Festival board member David Teague said the committee is excited about the upcoming event and guests are in for a treat when it comes to the entertainment and cuisine slated for the festival.
According to Teague, the event founded in 1981 is steadily working to become bigger and better than the year before. The year’s festival will host live music every day, a parade Saturday, April 16, starting at 9 a.m. near the Hwy 12/Hwy 62 intersection, a plethora of craft booths, food vendors aplenty, the famous B-B-Q Cook-off, carnival fair rides and games, helicopter rides, and much, much more. Selection of the Mauriceville Crawfish Queen has already been announced, and reigning over this year’s festivity will be Miss Kamey Jolly.
Bands taking the stage include Friday night’s line-up of the "Slow Rollin Lows" starting at 6 p.m., followed at 9:15 p.m. by the Jimmy Kaiser Band. Saturday is packed with live music starting at 11 a.m. with "Cajun Aces," “ Drug Store Boys" following at 2 p.m., "Kelly Cordova" at 4 p.m., "Southern Roads" at 6 p.m., and "Cheap Whiskey" rounding out the music at 9 p.m.
Guests are invited to bring lawn chair and coolers (no glass)with favorite beverages in tow. The last of the festival will be a day of dance, as guests are treated to Square Dancers starting at noon. At 1 p.m., the "Battle of the Bands" kick off is slated to begin with a bang as several bands have tossed their bid into the competition. The event will be held just south of the Mauriceville intersection of Hwy 62 and Hwy 12 at the fairgrounds right behind the fire department on Cohenour Road. For more information, call Cynthia Doucette at (409) 651-6358.