OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY)– The 41st Annual Southwest Zydeco Festival kicked off with many fun activities for people to enjoy Saturday in Acadiana. The festival had a huge impact on people around the country, celebrating creole culture and the background of zydeco music.
Joe Blake, a Houston resident, said he met his wife in Louisiana and has been coming with her to the festival for years.
“I’ve been with her almost 50 years, and we’ve been coming to Zydeco’s,” Blake said. “I got to be having the time of my life. I’m coming every year. I’ve been doing it that many years, 40 plus years. It’s a thrill to me. I’m not gonna miss it, long as I’m breathing everyday. This is my fun.”
Another man, John Rubalcaba, came all the way from San Diego. He learned about the festival a year ago and decided to bring his wife to the event for her birthday.
Rubalcaba said the atmosphere of the festival is amazing.
“The people are great,” Rubalcaba said. “The music is great. The food wonderful. Everything. It’s a wonderful time.”
Opelousas native, Cordell Wilson, said he always comes to the event no matter what.
“We always come. We don’t miss it. When we hear dance, we coming.”
Brandon Joseph, another Opelousas native, said the festival is very addicting.
“It’s addicting Joseph said. “They gonna want to keep coming. Y’all come out, and y’all gotta try it out for the people who never tried it out before.”
Many people like Cassandra Mann said they’ve been coming to the festival since they were a kid.
“This is fantastic,” Mann said. “The music nice. The whole ordeal since I was a little girl. I attended the Zydeco Festival.”
Kawana Levy is a food truck business owner. She said it is a full circle moment for everyone to be there and enjoy the festivities.
“It’s a very blessing moment for everybody to come out to Opelousas. I had seen people from the Lake Charles area to New Orleans all the way to Austin, Texas that came out to support the Zydeco Festival.”
Lena Charles, the Director of the Zydeco Festival, said she is happy that the organization is able to keep the legacy of Creole culture alive and is humbled to continue the event for years to come.
“It makes me feel proud that we didn’t give up and that we still keep this tradition alive,” Charles said. It also is very humbling. We are still honored to be able to carry this on. It’s very difficult for non-profits to survive after as many years as we have, but the first 25, we felt that we have saturated the world with zydeco music.”
Charles said the event will last until midnight for anyone who wants to come out and enjoy the fun.