City militia soldier Butch Faust loads his rifle to protect Lake Charles as Jean Lafitte and the Buccaneers attempt to take over control of the city, officially kicking off Contraband days on Friday at the seawall. (Karen Wink / American Press)
Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach walks the plank as Jean Lafitte and the Buccaneers take over control of the city Friday at the seawall. (Karen Wink / American Press)
Last Modified: Sunday, May 06, 2012 1:09 PM
Calcasieu Parish mayors walked the plank Friday night as Jean Lafitte and his band of pirates took over Lake Charles in an annual rite of the Contraband Days Louisiana Pirate Festival.
The event began with cannons being fired from the shore to protect the city from Lafitte and his buccaneers. As they have each year before, the motley crew defied the big guns and made landfall, taking over the city and forcing the mayors of Lake Charles, Sulphur, Iowa, DeQuincy, Vinton and Westlake to walk the plank.
The mayors were greeted by a crowd of hundreds, all shouting “walk the plank,” as they made their way to face their soggy fate.
Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach was the first. As he entered the water, the crowd shouted for Roach to “walk the plank again.”
Roach was followed by Sulphur Mayor Chris Duncan, who cannon balled into the water as the crowd cheered.
Moss Bluff residents Jerry Hale and Ann Gregory said they have been going to Contraband Days for several years.
“There’s a lot of people out here, but we’re really enjoying it,” Hale said. “It was a lot of fun to watch the mayors walk the plank. I like that tradition. We like everything about the festival.”
Stacy and Amy Bearden of Sulphur said they haven’t been to the festival in a few years but wanted to bring their children, Ethan and Madeline, to see the festivities.
“We liked watching the mayors walk the plank. It’s a nice part of Lake Charles tradition,” Stacy said. “We especially liked watching Chris Duncan walk the plank — he’s a nice guy and a good mayor.”
Stacy said his favorite part of being at the festival is “watching my kids have a good time.”
Darlene Beard said she usually goes to Contraband Days “to eat and leave,” but this year she wanted to take her granddaughter, Payton Istre.
“She really liked looking at the big boats,” Beard said. “We rode the merry-go-round and she loved that, too. She’s having a lot of fun.”
Valerie Devillier said she and her sons, John and Sebastian, attend the festival “every year.”
“I like coming every year to see all the concerts,” John said. “I like to come watch them all. It’s fun.”
“I like riding the rides,” Sebastian said. “The Gravatron is my favorite.”
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.
• “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 sign-up, 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.
• 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.
• Todd Armstrong Carnival, 6 p.m.
• The Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau presents Restaurant Day: “A Taste of Southwest Louisiana,” 11:30 a.m.
• Todd Armstrong Carnival, 6 p.m.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• Todd Armstrong Carnival, noon
Posted By: Stacy Shearman On: 5/5/2012
Title: Contraband Days
Thanks, AmPress for the wonderful coverage. I appreciate being to send it to my sea faring friends on the NW coast.