Rice Festival schedule of events released

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T-shirt, souvenir sales take off

According to Rice Festival Coordinator Roxie Viator, she knew — as if she needed reminding — that it was Rice Festival week as soon as she got to work Monday morning. 

“We already had a line of people outside the door at 8 o’clock this morning waiting to buy T-shirts and other Rice Festival souvenirs,” she said. “This may be the first year that I can remember where we have to order more T-shirts before the Wednesday of Rice Festival week.” 

The office was still filled with people at approximately 10:30 a.m. when the Post-Signal stopped by to collect the pamphlets and programs that are free to the public at the front desk of the newspaper’s office. 

Among the items being sold this year are pink Rice Festival Association (RFA) breast cancer awareness T-shirts. The RFA will be donating $5 of every T-shirt sold to the Miles Perret Cancer Center Services in Lafayette. This organization assists all cancer patients going through chemotherapy and is an Acadiana organization. 

The International Rice Festival also released the schedule of the events that will take place in and around the festival grounds this weekend. They are as follows:

Cajun Country Rice Stage (main stage)

Friday, Oct. 18 

• 9 a.m.: The official opening of the 77th International Rice Festival. This will include opening remarks from Rice Festival President Romona Credeur and 2012 International Rice Festival Queen Sarah Jane Mouton. Crowley Mayor Greg Jones will be on hand to welcome those in attendance. 

• 10 a.m.: The children’s Junior King and Queen Contest. The winners of this contest will be selected from first and second graders from Acadia Parish Schools. During the contest, entertainment will be provided by the Core Dance Center as well as the International Rice Festival Dance Troupe. The winners of the Junior King and Queen Contest will be crowned at 11:45 a.m.

• 11:45 a.m.: Entertainment by Dolores Nutt School of Dance. 

• Noon: International Rice Eating Contest. This event will feature champion rice eaters from across the country. 

• 12:30 p.m.: Entertainment by Tumbling Tots and Teens. 

• 1:15 p.m.: Rice Grading and Sheaf Award presentation. 

• 1:15 p.m.: Rice and Creole Cooking Contest Awards.  The winner of the Chef de Riz award will be presented by Letha Vincent, chairwoman.

• 1:30 p.m.: The International Rice Festival Children’s Parade. The parade’s theme this year is “Come Roll the Dice with Rice.” Lasting for approximately an hour, the parade will include all of the contestants in the Junior King and Queen Contest, including this year’s winners.  

Saturday, Oct. 19

• 8 a.m.: 5K Run and Walk

• 9:15 a.m.: 5K Run and Walk Awards

• 9:25 a.m.: Millworkers of the Year Presentation. Awarded annually to the outstanding millworkers from Falcon Rice Mill and Louisiana Rice Mill. 

• 9:30 a.m.: Entertainment by the International Rice Festival Dance Troupe. 

• 9:45 a.m.: International Rice Festival Queen’s Contest. There will be a presentation of the visiting queens from other festivals and contests from across the area. 

• 10 a.m.: International Rice Festival Dance Troupe. 

• 10:40 a.m.: Crowning of the International Rice Festival Queen. 

• 10:50 a.m.: Presentations to the 2013 International Rice Festival Queen. Also, presentations of The “Bill Williams Memorial Scholarship Fund,” the Sonic Scholarship, the Cajun Country Rice Scholarship, The Union Pacific Foundation Scholarship and the Dan Morrish Scholarship.

• 3 p.m.: The International Rice Festival Grand Parade

Supreme Rice Stage

Friday, Oct. 18 

• 1:30 p.m.: Children’s Parade

Saturday, Oct. 20

• 8 a.m. - 10 a.m.: The Accordion and Fiddle Contest. There will be a special appearance by the International Rice Festival Dance Troupe. 

• 3 p.m.: International Rice Festival Grand Parade.

Events at locations other than main street

Wednesday, Oct. 16

• 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.: Rice Grading Contest at the USDA Marketing Service (grain division) on West Hwy. 90.

• 7 p.m.: Senior Citizen’s Ball. The International Rice Festival Building at 717 W. Mill St. in Crowley

Friday, Oct. 18

• 9:30 a.m.: Rice and Creole Cooking Contest. This event will take place at the LSU AgCenter at 157 Cherokee Drive in Crowley.

• 10 a.m.: Opening of the Outdoor Arts and Crafts Show. The show will take place in Levy park in between Third Street and Fourth Street in Crowley. It will continue on Saturday, Oct. 19, and will reopen at 10 a.m. 

Saturday, Oct. 19

 • 1 p.m.: Rice Threshing Demonstration. This event will take place at First Baptist Church at the intersection of Fourth Street and Avenue G. These will also be a Shock Building Contest and a Sack Sewing Contest. 

• 1:45 p.m.: The awards presentation for the Classic Car Contest. Registration for this event is from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m. Saturday morning. 

• 2 p.m.: Awards Presentation for the 11th Annual Rice Festival Poker Run. Registration for this event begins at 7:45 a.m. at the Rice Palace in Crowley, which is located at Exit 80 on Interstate 10. The bikes will leave on the run at 8:50 a.m.

At 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, the Southern University Marching Band will perform at a location yet to be determined.

On Sunday, there will be a Family Fun Day from noon until 6 p.m. No alcohol will be served on Sunday. 

“This is coming together pretty smoothly so far,” said Viator on Monday. “We’re hoping for a record turnout.”