Attendance down at Contraband Days Festival, fun continues

Randy Johnson, 1st place in Contraband Car Show (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
Randy Johnson, 1st place in Contraband Car Show (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
Pirate boat (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
Pirate boat (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - As the Contraband Days Festival wraps up, organizers say it's been a bit slower than in years past.

But that didn't stop many festival-goers from having a good time.

From pirate chefs to pirates in dress, it was a chance to experience one of the oldest pirate festivals.

The annual Lake Charles Contraband Days Festival wraps up its 12-day event.

"I've been here both weeks, its going great," said Sherman Corbello, dressed as a pirate.

And while it's a festival for all ages, officials say this year's attendance was a bit slower than in years past.

"I think people have a misconception of what the festival is. We understand we're going to have to make some changes and hope the people will see we're trying to do things different and they'll come back and see us next year," explained Taylor Finchum, Contraband Days Board Member.

But that didn't stop those in attendance from having a good time and partaking in all the food.

One chef even turned a dryer from Laundry World into a smoker for the cook-off.

"It was drying clothes two months ago and so we repurposed it and made it into a dryer smoker and so now we're here delivering some beautiful pulled pork BBQ and smoked ribs," said Paul Pettefer, one of the chefs in the ribs cook-off.

Pam Manera, an attendee added, "The food is awesome it's so great. I've tested at least four of them."

There was also a car show, which first-time entry, Randy Johnson, stole the show with his 1955 Buick Century 66R.

The Schaefer's father-son duo also brought their rides.

"It's heartwarming we're doing this together for the first time," said father Skip Schaefer.

Children had their fun too, making it a great event for families.

"It's been wonderful, the weathers nice, not too hot and the kids have been having a blast," said Doug Fisette, standing next to his family.

Pirates had a good time too.

"We get to be pirates for two weeks and really have a good time," said Allen Abshire.

The festival even continued in the water, as boats strut their stuff.

"I'm having a good time and recommend it to everybody," said Antoine Aaron.

But even a slow day can be a good thing.

"When I go in the lines I just get right on and I don't have to wait," said Rodric Brown.

And because tonight's the grand finale, officials expect attendance to pick up, as there's a lot more in store, including a lot more pirate action.

Carnival rides and musical entertainment continue tonight. Don't miss the fireworks show at 10:15 p.m.

To view the complete festival schedule:

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