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Colusa Crawdad Festival draws hundreds hungry for a taste of the South
Aromatic Cajun spices wafted from giant pots boiling crawdads and lemon slices while music from the Bayou Boys and Wingnut Adams Band rumbled through the Colusa County Fairgrounds.
Hundreds of people attended the eighth annual Colusa Crawdad Festival hosted by the Catholic men's group, the Colusa County Knights of Columbus, council 2145, on Saturday.
Children played in jump houses, couples ventured a dance to the accordian-driven tunes and everyone ate.
Plates piled a foot high with crawdad shells dotting the long tables.
The crawdads were harvested from traps set in Colusa rice fields.
In addition to crawdads, festival cooks dished out seasoned corn and potatoes, red beans and rice, carnitas, etoufee, hot dogs and gumbo.
"It's fun. It brings together the community and we get to show off the fun part of a small town," said Allison Olivera of Meridian, one of the four Gumbo Girls serving up the dish.
John Rogers, an event organizer, said the proceeds go to Our Lady of Lourdes Parish School, and other area charities.
"We donate around the community," Rogers said.
He said his goal is to have 1,000 people attend, but "we've never broke 800 yet.
"It's just a good community event," he said.
"To give credit to where credit is due," he said, "Henry Royal is the one who first brought it up. He planted the seed years ago for a Cajun Festival. He came from the South."
The Southern feel was certainly present, aided in part by the heat but mostly by the music.
While the Bayou Boys played their Louisiana music, a band member welcomed the crowd to the Colusa Mardi Gras.
"Really, it's all about the kids," Rogers said.
Scott Davis, 11, and Andrew King, 8, said they both were having fun.
"I come every year," King said. "There's a jump house and, well, you can eat the crawdads!"