Embracing the Cajun culture through food and music

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The 23rd annual Cajun Music and Food Festival kicked off Saturday at Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles.

The event featured outstanding Cajun musicians, dance contests, favorite Cajun dishes, and other events.

Donald Leonard is of Cajun descent, and he said he looks forward to this event every year.

"I just think it's a wonderful thing because our Cajun culture is unique," said Leonard. "I just don't want to see it die. Instead I want to promote it."

Leonard does his part in promoting the Cajun culture through cooking his famous shrimp etouffee for the festival.

"This year I'm cooking 120 pounds," said Leonard. "I might run out before the festival is over with."

Jambalaya cooks told 7News they have to cook at least 30 pots every festival in order to have enough for the customers.

"They say the economy's bad but it doesn't look like it from this festival," said Leonard.

In addition to the Cajun food, patrons in attendance also enjoyed the sounds of the Cajun accordion.

"This accordion is different because when you push it in, it's got one tone. But when you pull it out it's a different tone." said Lee Richard, a member of the Cajun Music and Food Association.

The Cajun music comes with popular dance routines such as the Cajun Waltz and the Jitterbug.

"We've danced to the accordion, the fiddle, and the guitar for about three or four year generations now," said Richard. "If we don't keep pushing it, it's eventually going to die out.

The Cajun Music and Food Festival runs through Sunday, July 18th.

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