Sailboats race to the finish line during last year’s Lake Arthur Regatta Festival. The festival returns this weekend for two days of food, music and fun in the sun and water. (Doris Maricle / American Press)
Last Modified: Friday, May 24, 2013 12:03 PMLAKE ARTHUR — Organizers are gearing up for the 3rd annual Lake Arthur Regatta this Memorial Day weekend in downtown Lake Arthur.
The festival kicks off at 7:30 a.m. Saturday with the return of the triathlon and continues until midnight Sunday with two-days of food, music and fun on the lake to usher in the summer.
“Whether you come by car, boat or seaplane you don’t want to miss this year’s Regatta, which includes a stellar line up of live music, delicious food, sailboat races, a pageant, triathlon, bikini contest, male swimsuit contest and more,” Festival Director Troy Trahan said.
Nearly 11,000 people attended last year’s event and more are expected this year, he said.
“The festival is a different type of festival because it is based on the lake and we have a large number of boats, the beach and the park,” Trahan said. “It encompasses a very big welcome to summer.”
The festival is also a great way to showcase Lake Arthur, he said.
“A lot of people have never been to Lake Arthur,” Trahan said. “This is a chance for them to see what we have and come back to visit.”
Admission is $10 per day. Children 5 and under get in free. Gates open at 8 a.m.
Vendors will be on hand both days selling food, drinks and festival merchandise.
Saturday’s festivities begin at 7:30 a.m. with a mini triathlon in the parking lot of the Regatta LA Seafood and Steakhouse on Hawkeye Street.
Competitors for the event will swim 370 yards, bike 12 miles and run 2.5 miles.
The triathlon will be followed by the Miss Regatta Pageant at 10 a.m. on the festival grounds.
Returning to the waterfront will be the classic sailboat races at 11 a.m. The races can be viewed from the Lake Arthur Park and boardwalk.
“If live music and dancing is what your desire, Steel Shot from Cameron will kick off the music at 2 p.m.” Trahan said.
At 4 p.m. the wildly popular Miss Regatta Sizzlin Sailor bikini contest returns.
The winner will receive a $1,000 prize and will be guaranteed a spot in the finals of the L’Auberge Casino Resort Bikini Bombshell contest where the winner is awarded $10,000.
At 5:30 p.m. the dance floor will be packed with Zydeco artist Keith Frank and the Soileau Zydeco Band taking the stage.
At 8 p.m., Louisiana native and Nashville recording artist Frank Foster takes the stage.
“So many people have requested that we attempt to book Frank Foster who puts on a country music with an attitude show,” Trahan said.
Closing out Saturday night will be the ever popular, energetic, party cover band Chee Weez hitting the stage from 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
After a great night’s rest, everyone is invited to come back on Sunday for another incredible day of live music beginning with Johnny Chauvin at 1:30 p.m.
New to this year’s festival is the inaugural Mr. Regatta Sizzlin Sailor swimsuit competition at 3:30 p.m. The winner of this year’s competition will be awarded $500 as well as bragging rights.
Chris Ardoin and NuStep take the stage at 4 p.m. with a zydeco show.
American Idol season 10 finalist Stefano Langone will dazzle the crowd at 6:30 p.m.
Boothill, one of the hottest bands in New Orleans, will perform at 7:30 p.m. with a high energy country music cover set.
The festival closes out with Louisiana legend Wayne Toups and Zydecajun performing from 10 p.m.-midnight.
Proceeds from the festival are used by Team LA to improve and promote Lake Arthur.
No ice chest, pets, glass or weapons will be allowed.
7:30 a.m. — Triathlon
10 a.m. — Miss Regatta Pageant
11 a.m. — Sailboat races
2-34 p.m. — Steel Shot
4-5 p.m. — Miss Regatta Sizzlin' Sailor Bikini Contest
5:30-7:30 p.m. — Keith Frank and the Soileau Zydeco Ban
8-10 p.m. — Frank Foster
10:30-midnight — The Chee Weez
1:30 -3:30 p.m. — Johnny Chauvin
3:30-4 p.m. — Mr. Regatta Sizzlin Sailor Swimsuit COntest
4-6 p.m. — Chris Ardoin and NuStep
6:30-7 p.m. — Stefano Langone - American Idol finalist
7:30-9:30 p.m. — Boothill
10 p.m.-midnight — Wayne Toups and ZyDeCajun