Lake Charles Crawfish Festival

The Original Downtown Lake Charles Crawfish Festival kicked off this afternoon. While organizers say it was the second year in a row at the Civic Center, the idea of having such a festival came up 15yrs ago.

Lawrence Gumbo Morrow, the person who thought up this growing event says "There were no activities that were going on in Lake Charles that was really diverse to the community. So one day I came up with it and said let's have a crawfish festival. They were going out everywhere else for major events and really nothing was going on here that attracted people".

And idea that brought people from all over. At least two folks who were seen on KPLC-TV said they came from Arkansas and Detroit to enjoy the festivities. Even with out-of-towners, Jan Sanders of Lake Charles had this to say " I'm from here born and raised. Where there is crawfish, usually that's where we are.. enjoying zydeco music. It's just great to see all these people get together and get along and enjoy themselves"

For some crawfish wasn't necessarily on their menu but there were other food options like chicken, sausage, gumbo, rice, beans, fries, and the list continues.

We can't forget the vendors on hand who were selling everything from handbags to art pieces to baked goods, and scented bottles.

This year the festival added its own piece of royalty by holding the 2011 Downtown Lake Charles Crawfish Festival Queen pageant for both Miss and Little Miss. Respectively, Emily Wesley and Kennedi King won both of those titles.

There will be music on hand. Featured artists are Rusty Metoyer and the Zydeco Krushers, Zydecane, Damon Troy and Final Five, Lil Nate and the Zydeco Big Tymers, and the 2011 Grammy Award winner Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band. There will be special musical guest appearances by David Walker "the Country Boy", Lil Lo and Friends, Shawn Stackz, and Dubl'T.

Festival runs until 12midnight tonight.