Boucherie Festival kicks off next month

Halen Doughty
Cracklin' Cook-off participants gather around a pot at the Sorrento Boucherie Festival.

By Halen Doughty

@LikeVanHalen

The 2017 Boucherie Festival gets underway October 20, 21 and 22 at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center. The Boucherie Festival Association and the Sorrento Lions Club team up to raise money for the Lions Crippled Children's Camp and the Louisiana Lion Eye Foundation.

Friday features the Champ of Champs Cook-off followed by live performances by Freestyle and Travis Matte and the King Pins. The festival gates open at 5 p.m. Friday with the party lasting until midnight.

On Saturday, the first and second rounds heats will be held for the Jambalaya and Cracklin' cook-offs. Saturday's festivities also include a car show, the Ascension Parish News Pageant, and the Miss Boucherie Pageant. Avenue Cruisers, Jordan Babin, The Side Effects and Mike Broussard and Night Train, featuring Tuzack will all hit the stage Saturday. Gates are open from noon to midnight.

Sunday will have performances by Ryan Foret and Foret Tradition, as well as the Chase Tyler Band. The Jambalaya and Cracklin' finals will round out the events on the last day of the fest.

The annual festival has deep roots in Cajun culture. Years ago before refrigeration was an option for storing food, Cajuns in south Louisiana would wait until the fall to butcher the hogs to have meat for the coming winter months. They helped one another finish their "boucherie" before celebrating with a feast and divvying up the butchered hogs.

It's a tradition that helped the Cajun people survive by working together. The festival is held every year during the third weekend of October to carry on the tradition.

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