Kay Authement picks out a crab artwork from John Poche' during the 2011 Arts and Crabs Festival. Hundreds of people gathered for good food local artwork and music to benefit the Art and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana. (American Press Archives)
Last Modified: Friday, August 17, 2012 6:45 PM
The Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana and the Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau will hold their annual Arts & Crabs Fest 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, in the Lake Charles Civic Center Exhibition Hall.
The event, initiated in 2010 after the BP oil spill, promotes the state’s seafood industry, whose annual economic impact reportedly exceeds $2 billion. According to the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, crabbing alone provides 3,289 jobs and generates $293 million for the economy.
“We try to recognize the ties between seafood and culture by uniting both in an event that brings together the best of Southwest Louisiana’s heritage and the importance of local food, music and art,” said Erica McCreedy, Arts and Humanities Council executive director.
“The tasting is at the heart of the festival, and 10 locally owned Lake Area restaurants will each prepare a unique crab dish that showcases the flavors and versatility of Southwest Louisiana crabs, from crab cakes and crab bisque to crab stew.”
The event will feature a menu prepared by restaurants such as 121 Bistro, Cajun Café and The Harlequin Steaks & Seafood. And Louisiana brewer Abita will pair each dish with a specific Abita beer — picked to heighten the flavors of each dish, similar to the way foods are paired with wines.
Festival-goers will vote for their favorite dishes, and the winning chef will be presented the People’s Choice Award.
Entertainment will be provided by local band Skipper M. Drost & the Six Dollar a Day Band and headliner Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience.
“Terrance’s music crosses borders and languages, and he has been pivotal in the preservation of Creole zydeco music,” McCreedy said.
Local artists such as Sue Zimmermann, Marilyn Wheeldon and Julie Dallas will display their works, which festival-goers will be able to purchase, and several local artisans will sell handmade wares.
Wristbands for entry into the event will cost $25 and can be purchased at the arts council office at Central School; via phone at 439-2787; or online at www.artsandhumanitiesswla.org.
A $10 band ticket will be available at the door, and will allow patrons entry into the concerts, vendor booths and art displays only.
All proceeds will benefit the arts council, which supports more than 60 nonprofit arts groups in the five-parish region.