New high for Sugar Cane Festival - KLFY News 10

New high for Sugar Cane Festival

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  • Locals flock to sugarcane festival

    Locals flock to sugarcane festival

    Bonnie Scott of Wisconsin along with Lakeidra St. Julien and Cody Norris both of New Iberia share a common interest. They are one of thousands who attended on Saturday the New Iberia Sugar Cane Festival.More >>
    Bonnie Scott of Wisconsin along with Lakeidra St. Julien and Cody Norris both of New Iberia share a common interest. They are one of thousands who attended on Saturday the New Iberia Sugar Cane Festival.More >>

Attendance was historically high for the Sugar Cane Festival in its 72nd year.

"Last year for the fais do-dos in downtown New Iberia we had approximately 10,000 people. This year with the weather being like it is, it's about 18,000 so far," says Sugar Cane Festival Board Member Doyle Copell.

The estimate for this year, Copell says, doesn't even include the children 12 and under who had free admission. But, it's not just the good weather he says that nearly doubled the attendance of the fais do-dos that were free to enter before last year.

"I actually think it increased the volume of people, maybe because we increased the line of entertainment," says Copell.

With cover money raised from the shows, board member Debbie Taylor says they will continue to bring in marquee entertainers, like Stevie B, who performed this year.

"We had better entertainment and we're going to build some reserves for the future," says Taylor.

Board member Geri Frederick credits the increases to a revitalized board.

"For 30 years they only had one board meeting. We had monthly board meetings and actually this month we had weekly board meetings to make sure everything was running cohesively," says Frederick.

It's also the second year vendors—selling food and arts and crafts—were allowed at the festival, which also brought increased profits.

Toy vendor Will Wardsworth says business was booming and he sold twice as much this year over last year.

"The crowd was much better his year, because last night it was incredible," says Wardsworth. "I mean we had people everywhere!"

Local artist Steve Seneca, who drew the official festival poster for this year, says his inventory was practically cleaned out and learned his lesson for next year.

"I will bring more prints more drawings and couple of original oil paintings (next year)," says Seneca.

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