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And A Good Time Was Had By All!
After a wild and crazy winter, some 17,000 people poured into Winnsboro on April 12th for a big spring party, known locally as the Franklin Parish Catfish Festival!
Those who attended on a picture-perfect spring day were treated to outstanding musical entertainment on three different stages, including the locally and nationally famous Deana Carter, gospel music icon Michael English, and the up-and-coming sounds of Newworldson.
And in the heart of the festival, a unique street band from New Orleans came to Winnsboro for the first time. They were named The Drunken Catfish, but they really weren’t under the influence at this family-friendly event. To the contrary - they brought a smile to those who heard them play.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that regional favorites like LC Smoove, Lainey Wilson and Gene King and the Franklin Opry Band had their turn behind the microphones. Folks from here know them well, and those performers will be the first to tell you they always enjoy playing for the home folks.
The entertainers entertained while the kids played on the blow ups and the parents bought stuff - lots of stuff - sold by arts and crafts vendors who come to Winnsboro from across the Gulf South because many of them say it’s one of the best shows they attend. Some 300 vendor booths line the streets of downtown Winnsboro, and many plan to return next year.
If you like antique cars there were some 60 of those, and a family circus act that everyone seemed to enjoy. In addition, four real life princesses entertained the young princess festival goers throughout the day, an event that provided both photo ops for the parents and great memories for the kids.
They were this year’s big hit and they, too, promised to come back again next year.
This much is for sure: Five bucks at the gate goes a long way at the Catfish Festival!
And then there was the catfish. Over two tons of the pond-raised variety – over 4,000 pounds – were fried to a crisp golden brown and served to the very folks who, each year, make the Franklin Parish Catfish Festival famous.
After a crazy-cold winter, the 2014 festival breathed new life into a community longing for warmer weather and a chance to just… get… outside. It allowed local schools and churches the chance to make money for their young people, and it gave old friends an opportunity to come home and be a part of what’s good about Franklin Parish.
The 2015 festival is scheduled for Saturday, April 11. Come celebrate Franklin Parish with us then!