LOUISIANA PIRATE FESTIVAL Arrr you ready?

The Louisiana Pirate Festival announced its lineup for the annual celebration in a joint news conference with the Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau on Tuesday. The four-day festival will take place May 2-5 along the shores of Lake Charles and at the Civic Center.

The Louisiana Pirate Festival was recently named a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society, Kelli Fontenot, spokesperson for the CVB, said.

Thursday’s opening will be an alcohol-free family night from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The pirates will arrive on Friday among the carnival rides, vendors and live music with Jean LaFitte arriving at 6:30 p.m. followed by Mayor Nic Hunter walking the plank at 7 p.m.

Saturday will be filled with entertainment for all ages including the Barbecue Competitors Alliance Cook-Off Contest at 8 a.m., stock car racing at noon, the 31st annual Louisiana State Arm Wrestling Tournament at 1 p.m. and Children’s Day beginning at noon. Children’s Day will include a petting zoo, fun jumps, crafts, a costume contest and local school music ensemble performances.

Saturday night will end with the Laser Encore Laser Hitz Light Show, a first for the festival.

“A change from the traditional fireworks,” Eric Zartler, festival president, said. Guests will be sure to enjoy the 20-25 minutes display of music and lights.

The festival will close at midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Sunday’s festivities will be 11 a.m.-6 p.m. with Jean LaFitte’s “grand departure” at 5:15 p.m. as the mayor attempts to “take back his city,” Zartler said.

This year’s festival is packed with local musical entertainment. “Music is such a significant component of Louisiana’s culture, and that’s what our festival is all about,” Zartler said.

Blues, rock, country and Zydeco music spanning decades will be heard from the festival stage beginning Friday.

Entry and parking is free. Visit www.louisianapiratefestival.com or call 436-5508 for more information.

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Stacy Bearden’s art was chosen as the 2019 Louisiana Pirate Festival poster.

Special to the American Press

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