Businesses prep for Festival International - KLFY News 10

Businesses prep for Festival International

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Festival International de Louisiane is less than a week away and ten of thousands are expecting to be in downtown Lafayette to listen to musicians from all over the world which means businesses in the area are already preparing.

Between April 24 to 28, co-owner Rick Qawami of downtown restaurant Agave Cantina says businesses are expecting more than 100,000 hungry, thirsty people to attend the festival.

"I got the extra freezer truck you just store a lot of stuff and groceries in there because during the festival a lot of roads are blocked so you have to make sure you have everything over here because it's hard to get the trucks through here," says Qawami.

That freezer truck full of food and drink ingredients he says must meticulously be pre-ordered or he could risk completely selling out by Saturday night when he expects more than 4,000 patrons to pass through his restaurant doors.

"All the things we got to order is so much that you really have to let the vendors know two to three weeks in advance," Qawami said.

He says he expects to make three weeks worth of business by the end of the festival which will only be made possible by adequately supplying their demand.

"You got to increase your staffing by like three times."

Manager Sharon Mertz at Don's Seafood and Steakhouse downtown will also have more staff ready, but timed the opening of their new bar with the festival to accommodate more people.

"We're going to be serving draft beer we have eight different kinds of draft beer and we just make more room for more customers and more chairs for more customers," Mertz says.

Still she says all the extra stress is worth supporting one of Acadiana's biggest and in her opinion best events.

"Usually you have other holidays that keeps you busy. Mardi Gras does, but nothing like Festival International. It's more of a family festival. It's a family like atmosphere people come in to see."

Festival International will begin on Wednesday April 24 and finish up on Sunday April 28.

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