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A team that dubbed themselves the “Moss Bluff Rollers” races to the finish line during the 1999 Contraband Days bed race. This year’s Contraband Days Louisiana Pirate Festival bed race will be at 3 p.m. Sunday , May 6, at the Lake Charles Civic Center. (American Press Archives)<br>

A team that dubbed themselves the “Moss Bluff Rollers” races to the finish line during the 1999 Contraband Days bed race. This year’s Contraband Days Louisiana Pirate Festival bed race will be at 3 p.m. Sunday , May 6, at the Lake Charles Civic Center. (American Press Archives)

Contraband Days Louisiana Pirate Festival comes ashore

Last Modified: Friday, May 04, 2012 2:12 PM

By Cliff Seiber / American Press

More music, new entertainment and updated food choices will be the signature of the 55th annual Contraband Days Louisiana Pirate Festival, said Penny Miller, executive director of the festival.

The Lake Charles Militia will be gunning to reverse its record of failure in protecting the chief executives of Calcasieu Parish’s civil governments from the determined and swarthy Buccaneers in their invasion on the Lake Charles seawall this evening, May 4. The militia has a poor record of repelling the intrusions, every time to turn back the pirates and prevent them from ruling the city with their revelries.

The administration of Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach has uncovered intelligence indicating the Buccaneers will arrive by water at the Civic Center’s lakefront at 6 p.m. In an attempt to discourage the onslaught, the militia will begin cannon fire at 5 p.m. The CEOs of Sulphur, Vinton, Iowa and DeQuincy and the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury will join Roach in defense of the seawall.

In the past, the pirates have prevailed and made the local politicos walk the plank. The civil government forces have rallied and expelled the interlopers at the end of Contraband Days, this year on Sunday, May 13.

On tap for today is the opening of the festival gates on the Civic Center grounds at 4 p.m., along with the Galley Alley food court, Pirate Marketplace, Emerson Pony Rides and the USS Orleck laser tag in the Contraband Room. Todd Armstrong Carnival rides will start boarding passengers at 5 p.m.

“The food court will have about 15 vendors,” Miller said, “some returning and some new.” There will be boiled crawfish. Zeus will have selections from its Greek/Lebanese menu and Isle of Capri chefs will be cooking up Isle specialties.

The instrumental music festival of the Louisiana Music Educators Association will wrap up its events after a week of competition among students from around the state.

Pop, Cajun and country music will ring out from three stages throughout festival hours — the Malibu Rum Outdoor Stage, Pirate’s Cove and Kid’s Stage. The Civic Center coliseum and Rosa Hart Theatre will also host musicians.

“The music schedule has been expanded this year to more than 55 bands,” Miller said. That is nearly seven times more than the previous year’s lineup.

The Kid’s Stage has been designated an alcohol-free zone to make it more family-friendly, Miller said.

The Niña and Pinta, replicas of two of Christopher Columbus’s fleet that came to America, will be open for public tours through Tuesday, May 8. In addition to the $5 gate admission, there are extra charges for the ship tours, as well as pony rides, laser tag and the carnival.

“The Rhythm is Going to Get You!” performances by Steve Gryb, the Pied Piper of Percussion, will be presented on the Kid’s Stage Friday through Sunday. Gryb’s show is interactive with the young and the young at heart invited to participate with the wide array of drums and other percussion instruments he will have on stage.

Auditions for the “The Sound of Lake Charles,” hosted by L.A. 2 LA Productions, will take place in Rosa Hart Theatre 7 p.m.-midnight. Singers will be competing for over $50,000 in prizes, including a chance to appear in the move “How to Love a Geek.”

The gates will open at 10 a.m. Saturday, but a major Contraband Days event will be well under way. Tour Lafitte 2012 bicycle race will open with registration at the Civic Center grounds at 6 a.m., and cyclists will pedal off at 7:30 a.m.

Registration and weigh-ins for the 24th annual Contraband Days Arm-wrestling Tournament will be 9 a.m.-noon, and competitors will begin showing their strength and tactics at 1 p.m.

Auditions for “The Sound of Lake Charles” will continue 10 a.m.-6 p.m. in the Rosa Hart Theater.

The highlights Sunday will be the pirogue-building contest (10 a.m.-4 p.m.), bed races (3 p.m.); pirogue races (4:30 p.m.) and “Show Me Your Dinghy” contest and parade at the seawall (5:30 p.m.).

Tuesday, May 8, is Restaurant Day to showcase local restaurants. It will run 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Civic Center Exhibition Hall.

Then the busy schedule will build to a climax the following weekend with more music, new special events, the carnival and more food.


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.

Friday

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.

Saturday

“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.

Sunday

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.

Monday

Todd Armstrong Carnival, 6 p.m.

Tuesday

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

Wednesday

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

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