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Pat Louviere and Erik Jessen unveil the 2014 Contraband Days festival poster Tuesday. (Special to the American Press)

Pat Louviere and Erik Jessen unveil the 2014 Contraband Days festival poster Tuesday. (Special to the American Press)

Contraband Days festival set for May 1-11

Last Modified: Thursday, April 17, 2014 11:54 AM

By Warren Arceneaux / American Press

Family fun will be atop the agenda for the annual Contraband Days festival, which will be May 1-11 along the Civic Center seawall.

The festival will kick off with Family Night on May 1, when alcohol is prohibited on festival grounds. Opening day will include a National Day of Prayer celebration. For the first two days of the festival, the live shark encounter exhibition will be free of charge to youngsters.

Day two will feature the customary walking of the plank by Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach.

Reversing the recent decrease in boat traffic along the seawall is a priority for organizers this year.

“We have worked really hard to make Contraband a water event. That was the beginning, the history — it was a water event,” said Tab Finchum, a Contraband Days director.

“We have seen less and less boaters come out. We got together with law enforcement agencies, the Coast Guard, the sheriff, Wildlife and Fisheries, and we are going to do a joint operation to make sure our waters are safe, the boaters are safe and can still enjoy themselves. Boaters are still welcome to come out. Boaters will feel comfortable coming out to the event. We are looking forward to a new spirit of cooperation between the festival and law enforcement to make sure that we are doing the right thing and still encouraging people to come out, because it is a huge part of the festival. A lot of you can remember a time when we could practically walk across the lake on boats. We would like to get back to that. We are going to have a stage set up sitting on the seawall, facing the boaters.”

Water-based attractions will include a power boat demonstration and boat parade.

Entertainment at the festival will include The Family Stone, Wayne Toups and Zydecajun, Jaryd Lane and Thompson Square. The annual fireworks display will be at 10:15 p.m. Saturday, May 10.


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