GUEYDAN, La. (KLFY)– Celebrating the 47th annual Gueydan’s Duck Festival impacts the economy in a significant way.

“It’s positive exposure because you have to understand that, yes, everybody duck hunts, but here in Gueydan, it’s different because we’re the duck capital of America,” Jude Reese, the mayor of Gueydan, said. “This is our heritage. This is our culture. This brings light to our way of life —what we hold sacred and near and dear to us here. It’s an increase in sales tax for about 15 to 20%, but also, one of the benefits is to the employees at these local restaurants and tips, wages, things of that nature.” 

As duck season starts, Reese said some restaurants that don’t open for breakfast on the weekend, they will be open throughout the course of duck season, which is extra money employees are putting in their pockets, “which is certainly a good thing for them.”

He recalled attending the first duck festival. He said it has come a long way since then. 

“It’s progress, and it’s come a long way, and I’m telling you what you see today,” Reese said. “Here is a combination of a year’s worth. This is not something that’s done in a month’s time.”

“The festival is just kind of we try to keep true to that and do the events that or you need to the hunting heritage,” Jerrod Broussard, the President of Gueydan Duck Festival, said.

Broussard’s favorite moments are seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces as the community comes together, seeing the kids enjoying themselves running around and seeing people meet up with people they haven’t seen come together in a while.

“The actual joy of being a close-knit community and welcoming outside people to come in and enjoy themselves and have a good time with us,” Broussard said.