PORT BARRE, La. (KLFY) – With this year being the 36th annual Cracklin Festival, News 10 looked back to see how far the festival has come.

President of the Port Barre Lions Club Hunter Basco told News 10 that “The club was chartered in 1985 and it was just a group of guys that got together for a supper once a month and they were encouraged to start a fundraiser to try to raise money for our lions camp. One guy walked in with a bag of cracklins and a six-pack of adult beverages and said hey let’s have a cracklin cookoff as a fundraiser.”

Basco also said that the small cookoff was a huge success that grew bigger every year.

“They started the first year in 1985 they had it at the boat launch, and it was so great that they had to move it onto the street in Saizan where the cemetery currently is today,” Basco said. “Once it got too big for the street now the city allowed the Lions Club to use the park and it’s been here ever since.”

With this year being the 36th annual Cracklin Festival, Basco said that looking back to how it started still amazes him.

“To think that this big 36 years strong to start from behind a gas station at a supper, saying hey let’s have a cracklin cookoff, to me that’s crazy.”