Crowds gather for the 28th Annual Boozoo Chavis Labor Day Festival

BooZoo Chavis' Labor Day Festival

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - What started off as a way to pass the time by scraping paint off of walls has turned into a worldwide music trend known as Zydeco.  This Labor Day, tons of folks from all around Southwest Louisiana came out to celebrate the 28th Annual Boozoo Chavis Labor Day Festival.

"It's just amazing to see where it comes from" said Wilson Chavis, Boozoo's son.  "Just being at the house beating the paint off of the walls to what it is today... it's awesome".

Started by the late Boozoo Chavis, his son Wilson, known on the stage as Poncho, often played with him and says he could have never imagined how big the music style would become.

"I never dreamed in a hundred years we would be a part of it… and the public radio broadcasting what have you and the music is all over the world and it's just unbelievable" said Chavis.

"He wanted to have a festival and he threw it out by his yard, by his house in the yard and that's how it got started" said Boozoo's daughter, Margaret John.  "Ever since it's gotten bigger and bigger and bigger".

With the tons of festivals that call Southwest Louisiana home, Poncho says it's something unique about this one that makes it truly special.

"It's family oriented and you know everyone is welcome" said Chavis.  "We don't discriminate because music is international, it's worldwide and it's universal and that's what it's about keeping up the traditional Zydeco history".

While the tradition is rich in history, Zydeco fitness instructor, Mona Lisa, says it's that history that keeps it alive and fun today.

"You have the old school… the Cajun style and now you have the contemporary… so you put the two together and you have Zydeco!" she said.

Copyright KPLC. All rights reserved.