Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cajunfest part of downtown celebration April 16

Seafood dinner tickets available through Friday
By Andrea Brunty, Living editor, The Decatur Daily

Cajunfest will return to Rhodes Ferry Park on April 16 as part of a downtown celebration in Decatur.

The Decatur Jaycees will host the event, which features seafood, music and art, in partnership with 3rd Friday Downtown and Fri@5 at the Carnegie Visual Arts Center.

“We wanted to support what they were already doing and help bring people downtown and bring it down to the river and have it be a little more intimate,” said Jaycee Heather Thompson, event co-chair with Ken Hess of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q.

The festival, sponsored by Valley Budweiser and Pepsi, will be from 5 to 9 p.m.

Roland’s Cajun Catering in Huntsville will bring fresh crawfish and shrimp from the Gulf on the day of the event.

The $25 dinner ticket will also include sausage, potatoes, corn, jambalaya and two drinks. The deadline to purchase tickets is Friday.

This year, Thompson expects to sell about 150 tickets. She said a limited amount of tickets will be available next week. Last year, the event drew almost 500 people because it was held in conjunction with the Bassmaster Elite Series at Ingalls Harbor.

Tickets are available at, Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce, Bank Street Antique Mall, Sugar Magnolia’s and The Paper Chase. Call Thompson at 256-338-3272 for information.

If you don’t have a dinner ticket, however, you can still hear a zydeco band play for free. The Nashville-based band Roux du Bayou will return for its third annual Cajunfest.

“The crowd just really liked (the band), and they really wanted to come back,” Thompson said.

Local artists will display and sell their work in an art walk.

The Jaycees decided to invite nonprofits like Parents and Children Together, Families and Children Experiencing Separation and Habitat for the Humanity to offer information and raise awareness at booths.

“We wanted to shine a spotlight on what they’re doing,” Thompson said. “That’s kind of why we exist — to support them (through volunteering and raising funds).”

3rd Friday, Fri@5

Cajunfest is one of three downtown events happening within four blocks of each other April 16.

The 3rd Friday Downtown will kick off at 3 p.m. with special sales at downtown merchants along Bank Street, Second Avenue and several side streets until 8 p.m., said Gloria Arthur of Bank Street Antique Mall.

Live entertainment will include country/gospel vocalist Steve Partridge and guitarist David Higginbotham on Bank Street and music in front of Willis Gray Gallery on Second Avenue.

At Oak and Church streets, the Carnegie Visual Arts Center will host its monthly Fri@5 artists’ reception featuring the exhibit “Out of the Kitchen.” The 5-8 p.m. event costs $15 for guests and $5 for members and includes wine and appetizers.

MCATS buses will run to each event April 16, Arthur said.

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