The 19th Annual Crawfish festival took place in
Long Beach on the weekend of July 28th and 29th. This annual festival caters in Crawfish and
gives it a Cajun spice to continue the Louisiana tradition. Crawfish festivals are huge in New Orleans
and Louisiana, and Long Beach’s festival is the largest festival on the west
What exactly is a crawfish?
My favorite definition comes from http://www.crawdads.net/feed/what/index.htm:
“Crawfish are freshwater
crustaceans closely related to the lobster. They are known also by other names
such as crayfish, crawdads, red claw, and mudbugs (they don't eat mud, they
just live in it sometimes and they are not bugs). Crawfish are crustaceans –
they have a shell and five pairs of legs. As they grow, they molt their shells
and grow new ones. Crawfish are sold for consumption, for bait and for pets.”
For admission into the festival you do pay 13 dollars if you
buy your tickets in advance or print off a 2 dollar off coupon, and if you want
a feast you can pay the 28 dollar price which includes 2 lbs. of Crawfish and
admission. Your plate is covered in
crawfish, with a little bit of potatoes and a slice of corn.
For my first experience with eating crawfish, this was the
way to enjoy it. The people of Bristol
Farms catered the crawfish themselves and helped serve it up, and let me tell
you, it was fun just watching them serve the crawfish on the plates given to
When I got my heaping of crawfish we soon found a table to
begin shelling our crawfish. I had no
idea where to begin. The person that
came with me showed me how you broke the tail off and began to shell off the tail,
and then you ate the tasty meat inside.
My first reaction?
“My oh my, this is really salty.”
But then we soon realized it was because of the Cajun spices in which
all the salt and kick from the crawfish came from. By the end of the plate I had become a pro at
shelling my crawfish, and eating the tasty delights inside. And let me tell, it was a good half hour of
work, but for me, it was worth it.
The really confusing part about the festival for me was the
drink ticket station. You look up and
you see a big sign that says “drink tickets.”
For me, I thought these tickets were needed for all the booths, but I
learned soon, and fast, that it was only for the designated “Bar” station. They do not hand back refunds on the drink
tickets either, so in the future, make sure to only buy the drink tickets if
you’re looking for beer, the screaming crawfish, which is their signature
drink, or a margarita.
If you’re not a fan of crawfish, have no worries, there are
a variety of other food vendors that take on the New Orleans inspired theme
from catfish to BBQ lobster to chicken kabobs.
There’s something for everyone including tradition festival food such as
smoothies, lemonades, and funnel cakes.
The festival also brought a variety of vendors from hats, to
jewelry, to massages, to even being able to take your own New Orleans inspired
photo at the Crawfish festival. I must
say, I was quite pleased with the hat I took home with me.
And, of course, the
entertainment. Performers took to the
stage performing zydeco music which is Cajun, and a huge Louisiana
tradition. Throughout the day there were
dance lessons given out, magic shows performed by Kerry Ross, and even a dance
It was a fun filled day of entertainment, food, and
fun. The Rainbow Lagoon was right next
to the Hyatt off of Shoreline Drive in Long Beach, and people could even rent
paddle boats and float around the pond as the music ebbed around them.