Louisiana Crawfish Festival adds something new to its lineup: COVID-19 vaccines

The Louisiana Crawfish Festival heads back to Chalmette with its fill of rides, music and mudbugs at the Frederick Sigur Civic Center from April 29 to May 2.

For its 45th year, organizers will add something new to the crawfish festival lineup: COVID-19 vaccines.

Source: Nola Weekend Photo

Organizers announced plans to partner with St. Bernard Hospital/Ochsner Health, St. Bernard Parish Government and Nunez Community College Nursing to offer festival attendees a chance to receive the first dose of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine, according to a release.

The first dose will be available to anyone ages 16 and older on the following dates and times at the Frederick Sigur Civic Center:

• Thursday, April 29, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
• Saturday, May 1 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Sunday, May 2 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Organizers say there are no appointments needed to receive the vaccine, but participants should bring photo identification. People who get the vaccine will get notified of the date, time and place of their required second dose. See more details about vaccinations at the Louisiana Crawfish Festival here.

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The Louisiana Crawfish Festival marks the first large-scale festival to return, as COVID-19 restrictions relax and more people get vaccinated.

“The restrictions are going to be a challenge, but we’re ready for the challenge,” said Cisco Gonzales, vice president of the Louisiana Crawfish Festival Foundation. “We’re ready to bring back some entertainment and some fun for the public.”

The event has a permit from the State Fire Marshal’s office and support from other government entities, organizers say. For this year, the fest will scale down the crowds and ready a safety plan to avoid becoming a super spreader.

Currently, organizers say there will be no more than 12,000 people at one time on the festival grounds.

Festival organizers also released a slate of COVID-19 festival guidelines including screening for symptoms prior to entry, requiring masks, and enforcing social distancing in lines and high-traffic areas.

Other precautions include providing more seating in designated eating areas, sanitizing carnival rides and providing hand washing and sanitizer stations throughout the festival grounds.

Another change to this year’s event: No free re-entry.

Source: Louisiana Crawfish Festival via Facebook

“You know, we go elbow to elbow here usually, so we’ve got to spread it out a little bit,” Gonzales said. “And that’s all you’re going to see different.”

The Louisiana Crawfish Festival is known for its laundry list of mudbug-filled dishes, amusement rides and live music.

This year’s music lineup features Rockin Dopsie, Jr., Mojeaux, Junior and Sumtin’ Sneaky, No Idea, Voodoo Gumbo, Nashville South, Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band, Karma, Rick Mocklin & the Southern Voice, Zita and Six Gun Solution.

Admission to the festival is $5, except on April 29, when entry is free. Carnival rides cost $15 on April 29 and $30 on April 30 through May 2.

Festival hours are Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Louisiana Crawfish Festival originated in 1975 and has grown to become a Louisiana tradition. In the past, the festival attracted more than 120,000 people for the four-day event to benefit different charities.

For more information, visit Louisianacrawfishfestival.com.

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