CAMERON PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Fun, food and a whole lot of fur!
You could find it all in Cameron Parish this weekend at the annual Louisiana Fur & Wildlife Festival.
The festival held every year on the fairgrounds in downtown Cameron brought in hundreds of people from near and far.
“It’s a great community, we all love each other and we’re all really close,” said attendee Reilly Marks.
From little kids to kids-at-heart..to those who remember the festival when it was only a thought.
“2 trappers got together and one probably said I can skin a rat faster than you and ever since then it’s grown from there," said festival Vice. Pres, Ben Welch.
From trapping to goose calling, those are just some of the events that show off Sportsman’s Paradise and have people coming back each year.
“The cattle industry, the nutria, fur, alligator, fishing; you know, everything that has brought in money to the economy..we honor those industries,” said Welch.
The annual event is known as southwest Louisiana’s ‘"oldest and coldest" festival’ which highlights all the local, natural resource industries in the area.
This year’s festival honored the cattle industry since it has become a huge livelihood to Cameron Parish residents.
For some the festival is all about the food...
“I come to get the chicken on a stick, it’s really good,” said Marks.
For others it’s the attractions...
“I love to ride the rides,” said Aydan Haynie.
Some just come for the live music and entertainment.
There’s definitely no shortage of a good time in Cameron Parish. For those who grew up in the area, this event serves as a symbol of everything they’ve overcome since they were devastated by Hurricane Rita.
“The families that live here experience what life is like down here every day,” said Jared Cheramie. “When you can bring those people back it brings joy back to their lives about what they remember what used to be here before Hurricane Rita..it just brings back good memories.”
This year’s festival also payed tribute to the lives of Benny and Linda Welch, who along with their daughter left a lasting impression on the Cameron community.
“The legacy for the Welch family is to keep it going and to keep skinning and keep the festival as it is now and not change anything,” said Ben Welch.
A tradition 61 years in the making and still bringing together the Southwest Louisiana community.
Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Cameron Parish Junior Livestock Program, as well as a valedictorian scholarship program for the high schools located in Cameron Parish.
To learn more about the Louisiana Fur & Wildlife Festival, click here.