ABBEVILLE, La. (KLFY)–Celebrating the 73rd Annual Louisiana Cattle Festival, many people said they are glad the festival is back downtown, giving the true essence of celebrating the cattle industry.

“The Cattle Festival has not been downtown since 2017, and so to be bringing that back here in the true essence of the festival really reigns in a tradition and the legacy that this festival honors with the Cattle farmers and producers of our state and in the charming downtown street of Abbeville it’s pretty surreal to be back here and then to offer this free to the public,” Victoria Bourque, vice president of the Louisiana Cattle Festival, said.

Bourque said the cattle industry of Louisiana alone contributes about $500 million dollars to the state annually.

“To have the only festival in the state that commemorates that industry is exciting, and it’s in the heart of downtown Abbeville,” Bourque said. “The businesses that are around here definitely see economic benefits from having the festival here.”

Alison Miller, the tourism director of Vermilion Parish, said she sees the festival’s benefits.

“It brings in not only locals but visitors as well, and they spend their time at the festival but also spend money in the restaurants and other businesses, so it’s a great economic driver for our area,” Miller said. “Being born and raised in Abbeville, the Cattle Festival is one of those festivals that you always looked forward to, and I’m very excited that they are bringing back the more traditional cattle.”

The festival has so many activities for the community. It brings staples like chocolate milk toast and even some new activities like a rib eating competition.

“We want the community to understand Pasture to Plate and where their food comes from,” Bourque said. “These people quite literally feed the nation, so we can celebrate that right here in these beautiful streets. I’m all for it, and we hope the community comes out to join us.”