Festival president confident of record-breaking year - KLFY News 10

Festival president confident of record-breaking year

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Festival International de Louisiane may have reached a record breaking year for 2013. That's according to the president of the Festival Board of Directors.

The owner of Tsunami Restaurant in downtown Lafayette says the festival brings a nice sized crowd to the Hub City. "There are plenty of vendors and that's what the festival is for; for people to come out and enjoy all these different foods. Walking up and down the street, it's delightful whenever they want to take a break and come inside and enjoy some our food," Tsunami owner Michele Ezell.

Monica Hebert, president of the festival board, is confident the five-day event reached a record high. Hebert says last year an estimated 400,000 people attended. "We're excited how the whole Acadiana experiences an economic impact. That's what we are here for and we want to bring people to our community. We want to make sure everyone benefits from this festival," explains Hebert.

Hebert figures the economic impact may be somewhere around $30 million for last year. If this year's attendance is as she projects that $30 million mark is old news. "We have our volunteers of 2,000 give of their time to help make this a success," Hebert.

The Jefferson Street Pub was the official hospitality spot for the artists. This is the pub's second year. "Every so often out of the blue a band would go on the stage and play a little bit. They would sing while they're eating and hang out and rehearse," Owner Gus Rezende.

The pub's co-executive Chef is Chris Pothier - born and raised in Lafayette. Pothier says it was a challenge trying to appease international taste buds - but also an honor. "A little star struck every seeing some artists that you like and they're eating your food and enjoying it and talking about it. It was definitely a good opportunity and very fun for us."

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