Craving crawfish? 9 festivals for crawfish lovers this spring

Crawfish lovers can look forward to some mudbug-filled festivals this spring. Since crawfish leans on the pricer side per pound right now, some of these events might give you the best bang for your buck. If you're craving crawfish, here are the festivals you need to mark on your calendar now.

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Louisiana Crawfish Festival

Thursday, March 22 – Sunday, March 25

Eat crawfish in almost every way imaginable at the Louisiana Crawfish Festival in Chalmette. You’ll find boiled crawfish with all of the fixings, but there are also so many other crawfish dishes for festival-goers to enjoy. The laundry list of mudbug-filled varieties includes options like crawfish bread, crawfish pasta, crawfish pies, crawfish rice, crawfish-stuffed crab and potato salad and crawfish chimichangas. There are literally so many options that we can’t even list them all. Other activities at the St. Bernard Parish festival include carnival rides and game booths, arts and crafts, and live music. The entertainment lineup includes acts like Groovy 7, Ryan Foret and Foret Tradition, MoJEAUX and Category 6. General admission is $5.

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French Quarter Fest

Thursday, April 12 – Sunday, April 15

While French Quarter Fest isn’t necessarily a crawfish-centric festival, we combed the list of food vendors to find around a dozen varieties of crawfish. Rouses Supermarket will be on hand with hot boiled crawfish. You can also find other festival favorites like crawfish bread, crawfish pie, crawfish rolls, crawfish nachos and even crawfish boudin. Check the website for the complete food lineup.

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Hospice Foundation of the South's Crawfish Cook-Off

Saturday, April 21

With crawfish prices leaning on the more expensive side so far this season, a pay-one-price event like the Crawfish Cook-Off in Slidell seems like a good idea. More than 60 teams boil crawfish to compete for the title of “Best Crawfish in St. Tammany Parish.” Celebrity judges help pick the winners. Admission to the event gets you access to all the crawfish you can eat. Plus, while you’re peeling, hear live local music from bands like The TopCats, Category 6 and more. This annual crawfish cook-off at Slidell’s Fritchie Park is worth the trip. Proceeds benefit the Hospice of the South. Advance tickets start at $30. Admission is $35 at the gate. Children ages 12 and under are free.

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Photo courtesy: Tulane Crawfest via Facebook

Tulane Crawfest 2018

Saturday, April 21

Get your fill of crawfish at Tulane University’s Crawfest — an annual music, food, and arts festival located at the University’s Uptown campus. Each year, community members and students can dig into more than 20,000 pounds of crawfish and thousands of pounds of veggies. The fest also includes music from bands on two stages plus dozens of local food and art vendors. Dive into unlimited crawfish, soda, and water. The event is free and open to all Tulane students with a current Splash Card and free for children age 12 and under. Tickets for non-students are $15.

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Photo courtesy: Deanie's Seafood via Facebook

Deanie's Pinch A Palooza

Sunday, April 22

Festival-goers can dive into boatloads of delicious Deanie’s crawfish at Pinch A Palooza. Aside from the Bucktown staple’s signature boiled mudbugs, folks can enjoy a variety of crawfish dishes like fried crawfish tails, crawfish balls and crawfish nachos. This day of family fun also features crawfish eating contests for kids and adults, games for kids and family-friendly bands. Free admission and open to the public.

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Photo courtesy: New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

Jazz Fest

Friday, April 27 – Sunday, May 6

Crawfish lovers can also find something satisfying at Jazz Fest. You’ll find boiled crawfish and several other crawfish dishes among food vendors. Of course, many festival-goers make sure to get bowl of Crawfish Monica. Other crawfish dishes at the fest include crawfish bread, Cajun crawfish rice, crawfish etouffee, crawfish po-boy, crawfish beignets and crawfish bisque.

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NOLA Crawfish Festival

Monday, April 30 – Wednesday, May 2

Hang out at the NOLA Crawfish Festival for three days of mudbugs, music and beer at Central City BBQ. Festival-goers can gobble hot boiled crawfish from NOLA Crawfish King. The festival hosts an Ultimate Crawfish Cook-Off on its last day where 20 teams compete for the best crawfish boil. Plus, the festival hosts its first-ever crawfish eating contest where participants must eat the most crawfish in 20 minutes to get crowned “Crawfish Eatin’ Champion.” In addition to bragging rights, contest participants get a couple of other perks including free admission to the fest on contest day. The winner gets $100. Ticket prices for festival-goers who want crawfish start at $35, plus taxes and fees. Upon entry, you will receive a ticket for a single order of approximately two to three pounds of boiled crawfish.

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Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival

Friday, May 4 – Sunday, May 6

Thousands flock to the “Crawfish Capital of the World” for the weekend-long Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival. The showcase of Cajun and Zydeco culture features so many crawfish dishes, it’s hard to keep count. Of course, there will be boiled crawfish. Some of the other dishes include crawfish pies, crawfish po-boys, fried crawfish balls, crawfish macque choux and crawfish jambalaya. The festival also features a crawfish etouffée cook-off where cooking teams battle for the title of cook-off champion. Here’s the perk for festival-goers: Samples are available once judging is complete. There is also a crawfish eating contest that measures the weight of boiled crawfish consumed within 45 minutes. Cajun dance lessons, crawfish races, cooking demonstrations and performances round out festivities. Admission on Friday and Sunday is $5. Saturday admission is $10. Festival-goers can also buy an advance three-day pass for $15.

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Crawfish Mambo 2018

Saturday, May 12

Each year, the University of New Orleans hosts Crawfish Mambo — the city’s largest crawfish cookoff. Festival-goers can spend all day sampling dozens of different crawfish boils from different teams competing for top honors. There is also a crawfish eating competition to find the fastest eater. Other features include an artist village, kids tent and a music lineup. Enjoy all the crawfish you can eat for $25 in advance or $35 at the gate. Children under age 7 can join for free.

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