Wayne Toups

The Texas Rice Festival started as a one-day affair in Winnie in 1969 and has since grown into a eight-day harvest celebration, now in its 47th year. The renowned Texas Rice Festival recognizes the significance off rice farming, a major economic activity in the region, especially in the Winnie area. The festival includes a carnival, livestock show, barbeque cook-off, nightly street dances, parades, pageants, music, great food and, of course, rice balls. The final weekend of the event is upon us with gates opening at 5 p.m.

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photo courtesy of Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas

Although the 24th annual Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas celebration in Port Arthur will be competing with Super Bowl 50 weekend this year, the event is as exciting as ever with Grammy Award-winning artist Wayne Toups returning to the area to play the event Sunday, Feb. 7, at 5:30 p.m. Toups is one of many concerts scheduled during the four days of Mardi Gras fun.

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What originally began as a one-day affair in 1969 has grown into a seven-day celebration — the Texas Rice Festival. Now in its 45th year, the renowned Texas Rice Festival is an annual harvest celebration honoring rice farming, a major economic activity in the region, especially in Winnie.

The festival includes a carnival, livestock shows, barbeque cook-off, nightly street dances, parades, pageants, music, great food and, of course, rice balls.

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Wayne Toups

Certainly one of the most exciting musicians to come out of Acadiana is Wayne Toups. This Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and accordionist created his own style of music, Zydecajun — a fusion of Cajun sounds and the rhythms of zydeco, with elements of soul music and southern rock mixed in.

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