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Contraband Days starts Tuesday (with schedule)

Last Modified: Sunday, April 29, 2012 8:30 PM

Special to the American Press

Contrabands Days Louisiana Pirate Festival organizers conducted a survey and, as a result, retooled the festival to be more kid-friendly and put more emphasis on entertainment.

The festival begins Tuesday and runs through May 13. Most events will be at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

The offerings of Southwest Louisiana’s premiere spring festival will communicate “the spirit of the event,” said Angie Manning, communications director of the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau.

As a result of phone interviews, focus groups and a survey of the five-parish area in which participants were asked what they liked and disliked about the two-week festival, organizers decided to put families first.

“People have told us they want entertainment, and we are delivering on that,” Dean Day, Contraband Days president, said at a news conference earlier this year. “That is going to be the distinct difference. If you’re a family, you can feel safe in knowing that you can come with your family and see entertaining things such as music, Disney illusionists, people in costumes. That is the main difference — fun and good times. If you haven’t been to Contraband Days, you need to come for the 55th year. It is something you will not be disappointed in.”

Performing at the 55th anniversary of the festival will be Josh Turner, Tenth Avenue North, Adam Trent, The ZAPP Band, Bryan Fontenot, The Molly Ringwalds, Ryan Andreas and Beverly McClellan. Musical guests will also include Travis Matte & the Kingpins, Steel Shot, Kevin Naquin & the Ossun Playboys and Chris Miller & Bayou Roots, among others.

Fun activities to greet festival-goers include the Todd Armstrong Carnival, Emerson Pony Rides and USS Orleck Laser Tag. Offbeat acts include Steve Gryb: “The Pied Piper of Percussion,” The International Dance Company, Wildlife Wendy & Her Tropical Birds and Adam Trent “Magician Reinvented.”

Contests include the Bar-B-Que Cookoff, Contraband Days 5-Miler, Bar-B-Que Cookoff, Tour LaFitte bicycle races, Pirogue and bed races and arm wrestling tournament. Traditional events include the Taste of Louisiana and annual Fireworks Spectacular.

For more information or for a list of events, visit or call the festival office at 436-5508.

Contraband Days Schedule

Concerts and events at the Contraband Days Louisiana Pirate Festival are free with $5 gate admission. Gates open at 4 p.m. weekdays beginning Thursday, 10 a.m. Saturdays and at noon Sundays.

The Todd Armstrong Carnival and some attractions will have separate charges, those include Emerson Pony Rides and USS Orleck Laser Tag, the latter in the Civic Center Contraband Days Room on the second floor.

The carnival will be open from 6 p.m. on weekday afternoons from Thursday through the end of the festival, 5 p.m. on Fridays, and on weekends from noon.

The Galley Alley food booths open with the festival gates.


Louisiana Music Educators’ Association Instrumental State Festival, 8 a.m. (


Louisiana Music Educators’ Association Instrumental State Festival, 8 a.m.

“Just for Jesus” presents Big Daddy Weave in Civic Center Coliseum, 10 a.m.


Family Day on National Day of Prayer (alcohol-free evening).

•  Louisiana Music Educators’ Association Instrumental State Festival, 8 a.m.

Profit and Loss Association Luncheon, Civic Center Coliseum, 11:30 a.m.

Waters Edge Band, 6 p.m., Civic Center Coliseum.

Tenth Avenue North, 7 p.m., Civic Center Coliseum.

Profit & Loss Association and LA Radio Communications Kid’s World Stage: Steve Gryb: “The Pied Piper of Percussion, ” 5 p.m., 8 p.m., 9:30 p.m.; Power Church, 6 p.m.

May 4

Louisiana Music Educators’ Association Instrumental State Festival, 8 a.m.

Lake Charles cannon firing to protect the city, 5 p.m. at the seawall.

Buccaneers begin shore landing, 6 p.m. at the seawall.

Jean Lafitte and Buccaneers force city mayor to “walk the plank,” 7 p.m. at the seawall.

Malibu Rum Outdoor Stage: Ryan Andreas (NBC-TV’s “America’s Got Talent”), 6 p.m.; Beverly McClellan (NBC-TV’s “The Voice”), 7:30 p.m.; The Molly Ringwalds, 9:30 p.m.

Pirate’s Cove: Tim Norris, 4 p.m.; Tom Brandow, 6 p.m., Open-Mic Karaoke, 8 p.m., Angel Leal, 10 p.m.

Kid’s World Stage: Steve Gryb: “The Pied Piper of Percussion,” 5:30 p.m.; St. Louis Show Choir, 7 p.m.; Steve Gryb: “The Pied Piper of Percussion,” 8 p.m.; The International Dance Company, 9 p.m.; Steve Gryb: “The Pied Piper of Percussion,” 10 p.m.

May 5

“Tour Lafitte 2012” at Civic Center grounds — registration and packet pick up at 6 a.m.; run starts 7:30 a.m.

Registration and Weigh-ins for the 24th Annual Contraband Days Armwrestling Tournament, 9 a.m.-noon; competition starts 1 p.m.

Malibu Rum Outdoor Stage:The Chris Shearman Experience, 11 a.m.; Bobcat, noon; Startisan, 2 p.m.; Maps and Makers, 3:30 p.m.; Peter Simon, 5 p.m.; 10:30 p.m., Lingus

Pirate’s Cove: Tim Norris, noon; Tom Brandow, 2 p.m.; Angel Leal, 3:30 p.m.; John Guidroz, 5:30 p.m., Ryan Andreas (NBC-TV’s “America’s Got Talent”), 7:30 p.m.; Brian Racca, 9 p.m.

Kid’s World Stage: “Spittin’ Image” Contest signup, 11:30 a.m.; “Spittin’ Image” Contest, 12:30 p.m.; Steve Gryb: “The Pied Piper of Percussion”, 1:30 p.m.; Lake Charles Fire Department demonstration, 2:15 p.m.; Power Church, 3 p.m.; Steve Gryb: “The Pied Piper of Percussion,” 5 p.m.; Bell City Show Choir, 6 p.m.; Steve Gryb: “The Pied Piper of Percussion,” 7 p.m.; Brynlee daigle, 8 p.m.; The Katelyn Johnson Band, 9:45 p.m.

May 6

Contraband Days Pirogue Building Contest, 10 a.m., Civic Center grounds.

Bed Races, 3 p.m., Civic Center grounds.

Pirougue Race starts, 4:30 p.m., seawall

“Show Me Your Dinghy” Contest and Parade, 5:30 p.m., seawall

Malibu Rum Outdoor Stage: Jet Jaguar, 1 p.m.; The Downhearted, 3 p.m.; Sinners, 5 p.m.; Loaded 44RZ, 7 p.m.

Pirate’s Cove: Andrew David, noon; Matt Moss, 2 p.m.; Brian Moore, 4 p.m.; Katie Pilapauskas & Mike Dolan, 6 p.m.

Kid’s World Stage: Vineyard Church, 1:45 p.m.; Steve Gryb: “The Pied Piper of Percussion,” 3 p.m.; Power Church, 4 p.m.; Steve Gryb: “The Pied Piper of Percussion,” 6 p.m.

May 7

Todd Armstrong Carnival, 6 p.m.

May 8

The Lake Charles/SWLA Convention & Visitors Bureau presents Restaurant Day: “A Taste of Southwest Louisiana,” 11:30 a.m.

May 9

Todd Armstrong Carnival, 6 p.m.

May 10

Adam Trent Magic Reinvented, 7 p.m. in the Rosa Hart Theater

Pirate’s Cove: Charles Lyons, 4 p.m.; Kris Harper & Matt Moss, 6 p.m.

Kid’s World Stage: Gyth Rigdon, 5 p.m.; The Summit Worship Band, 7 p.m.

May 11

Contraband Days presents Josh Turner on his Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Tour, 8:30 p.m. Opening act Bryan Fontenot, 7 p.m.

Malibu Rum Outdoor Stage: Mark Reeves Band, 5 p.m.; 107 JAMZ “Block Party” Rusty Metoyer & the Zydeco Krush, 8 p.m.; 107 JAMZ “Block Party” Leon Chavis & the Zydeco Flames, 9:30 p.m.

Pirate’s Cove: Cory Landry, 4 p.m.; Kevin Johnson & Ryan Bourque, 6 p.m.; Open-Mic Karaoke, 8 p.m.; Kory Fontenot, 10 p.m.

Kid’s World Stage: Wildlife Wendy & Her Tropical Birds, 5 p.m.; Power Church, 5:30 p.m. Wildlife Wendy & Her Tropical Birds, 7 p.m.; Brynlee Daigle, 8 p.m.; Wildlife Wendy & Her Tropical Birds, 9 p.m.; Ryan Barnett, 9:30 p.m.

May 12

Ninth Annual Bar-B-Que Cookoff: Check-in, 7 a.m.; chief cook meeting, 9 a.m.; judging of seafood, 11 a.m.; judging of chicken, noon; judging of ribs, 1 p.m.; judging of boston butt, 2 p.m.; award presentation, 4 p.m.

Contraband Days 5-Miler by the Lake Area Runners, 8 a.m., Capital One Building.

15th Annual Contraband Days Car Show, 10 a.m.

Contraband Days Boat Parade, 3 p.m.

Adam Trent “Magician Reinvented” encore matinee performance, 4 p.m., Rosa Hart Theatre

55th Annual Fireworks Party with Ryan Andreas (“America’s Got Talent”), 9 p.m. at Civic Center Buccaneer Room & 3rd Floor Balcony (invitation required)

Contraband Days “Fireworks Spectacular!” 10:15 p.m.

Malibu Rum Stage: Chris Miller & Bayou Roots, noon; Kevin Naquin & the Ossun Playboys, 2:30 p.m.; Steel shot, 5 p.m.; Travis Matte & the Kingpins, 7:30 p.m.

Pirate’s Cove: Brian Racca, noon; Cory Landry, 3 p.m.; John Guidroz, 4:30 p.m.; Brice Perrin, 6 p.m.; Kory Fontenot, 8 p.m.; The Good Wood, 10:30 p.m.

Kid’s World Stage: Children’s Pirate Costume Contest, registration 10 a.m., contest begins 11 a.m.; The International Dance Company, noon; Wildlife Wendy & Her Tropical Birds, 1 p.m.; Power Church, 1:30 p.m.; Les Danseurs, 2 p.m.; Wildlife Wendy & Her Tropical Birds, 3 p.m.; Barbe Show Choir, 4 p.m.; Wildlife Wendy & Her Tropical Birds, 6:30 p.m.; Signature, 8 p.m.

May 13

Todd Armstrong Carnival, noon

Posted By: Doug On: 5/1/2012

Title: Clarification

Is Lake Charles celebrating CENTENNIAL AND BI-CENTENNIAL Milestones at the same time?

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