Looking for something different and tasty? Well then, don’t miss the Cajun Fest on April 27th from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Ohio Street between 9th and 10th.There will be fresh craw fish along with several authentic Louisiana Cajun food vendors. There will also be other types of food, just in case you aren’t feeling that adventurous.
“This is the 12th Annual Cajun Fest, and it is really centered around food and trying to bring that Louisiana creole Cajun feel to Wichita Falls”, said Jana Schmader, the Executive Director of Downtown Wichita Falls Development, Inc, or as some call it, Downtown Proud. “A lot of our festivals have to do with culture and this one does, too.”
There is something for everyone including the kids. Children under 12 are free and the kid’s area and game area are free. “We will have different types of amusement rides and bounce houses, and there will also be a Tail Gator Party with all kinds of games like Jumbo Jenga and big checkers. We will also have a game called Trashketball, where people throw a ball around, and all those activities are free,” she explained.
Entertainment for the adults will include 4 bands. “The headliner is the Tejas Brothers, and then we will have Deep In It featuring Malford Milligan. He is an internationally known singer, and we are really excited to have him in the lineup. Our next band is Downtown Royalty, and the band that will close out the night is Everything In Between,” Jana said. There will also be approximately 12 to 15 specialty vendors, and around 10 food vendors to add to the atmosphere.
“One of the biggest hits returning from last year is the Gumbo Cookoff. That was super popular last year. It is $75 for an individual team of 4 to enter, and we also will have corporate teams. There will be a People’s Choice Award and the team that makes the best gumbo will receive $250. If a corporate team wins, we will donate the funds to the charity of their choice,” she said.
“This is one of our most heavily attended events. Last year we had 7,000 people and are hoping to grow that this year. Traditionally we hold it on Mother’s Day weekend and graduation weekend, and it is already hot by mid-May. So, we bumped it up a couple of weeks, and we are no longer competing with graduations and Mother’s Day. We are hoping between the weather and just a little bit more free time, it will allow more opportunity for people to come.”
“I always tell people that when purchasing your ticket and coming downtown, you are experiencing the festival and getting the food and the entertainment; and all those ticket funds and all those proceeds go right back into downtown. We take all that money and pick projects, like bike racks, benches, cross walks and trash cans to make downtown better. And over time we can eventually build those up and purchase buildings and rehab them, so, when you come down and purchase your ticket you are not only experiencing the day, you are doing your part in revitalization. We take all that money and put it right back into downtown, so, we always try to make people see the bigger picture which is that their $7 ticket goes much farther in the long run,” Jana stressed.
Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the gate. They can be purchased online at downtownwf.com, or at any United Supermarket, Market Street, the Iron Horse Pub, 8th Street Coffee House or on Sheppard Air Force Base.