CROWLEY, La. (KLFY)– Bringing in thousands of visitors over a span of three days, the 86th International Rice Festival is the oldest and largest agricultural festival in Louisiana.

Known as the rice capital of America, Crowley Mayor Chad Monceaux said there is nothing like the Rice Festival. The amount of people coming into town to eat, shop and have a good time helps bring in revenue for the city.

“We estimate over the three-day weekend that we have about 300,000 people that come through the city of Crowley,” Monceaux said. 

Rhonda Bussy, the owner of Ruddocks Bakery said she tends to get more foot traffic during the Rice Festival.

“We get more foot traffic as far as people that are coming in to get big items or a lot of items, that kind of slows down during the Rice Festival,” Bussy said. “But we have a lot of people coming in to get one or two things, you know. So, we do kind of slow down per se, but we still have a lot of people coming in to get things.”

Monceaux said it takes a lot to put something like this together, that’s why planning for it takes almost a year. He said it couldn’t get done without the volunteers and the sponsors who make it happen.

“You know, our festival is free,” Monceaux said. “This is a free festival. So it takes a lot of work from a lot of volunteers and also sponsors. Our sponsors are the backbone of our festival because without sponsors, we couldn’t do any of this stuff.”

Monceaux said the three-day event shows how important rice is to the city and the people who live there.

“We have a festival for just about anything,” he said. “Gumbo. Voodoo jambalaya. But you know what? You can’t have any of those festivals without rice.”

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