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2013 Franklin Parish Catfish Festival a Great Success
By Katie Norwood
Editor, The Franklin Sun
April 17, 2013
Saturday was a perfect day for the 27th Annual Franklin Parish Catfish Festival in historic downtown Winnsboro. An estimated crowd of 18,000 packed the fairways and city blocks to enjoy the sights and sounds of the largest one-day festival in the state.
“Our attendance was up considerably from last year,” festival chairman Paul Price said. “We attribute it to a beautiful day for sure and the hard work of a great group who really put the time and effort in to making it work so well.”
With more than 300 booth spaces lining the festival grounds, vendors reported great sales from Saturday’s event. The festival stimulates the local economy by supporting businesses in the area, and is an important element for fundraising by area non-profits.
Three local churches sold hot catfish fillets with all the trimmings throughout the afternoon, and other “festival type” food vendors reported high sales for the day.
Gospel music superstar Jason Crabb was a big hit with festival audiences. Also headlining Saturday’s entertainment lineup were Jo-El Sonnier, Vagabond Swing, the Abney Effect, Wade Benson Landry, Big Al, with local favorites such as the Gene King Band, Jessie Waller and Lil’ Nate.
Guests to the festival were also treated to an extra bonus with the Blue Dog exhibit currently on display at the Old Post Office Museum. Other highlights included a free video game room in the Princess Room, the Bicentennial Quilt and Piecemaker’s Quilt Show at the Library Learning Center, and the annual flower show, also on display at the museum.
And, David Hartwig and the “Friends of Skidboot” were a big hit for the youngsters as they offered a unique dog show and horse riding opportunity, and the crew from Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo in Monroe brought a very unique display for the kids.
“It’s a great family event for our community and this year it basically went off without a hitch,” Price said. “It takes a lot of hard work by a great group of people. Without them, there would be no festival.”
After the visitors return home and our fair city is littered with the remains of a fun day, what is commonly known as the ‘festival miracle’ occurs over night as the city is returned to her original glory by the hardworking Winnsboro city crew. By Monday morning, we are left only with the memories of the day’s festivities and looking forward to the next year.
See you in 2014!