Festival celebrates Louisiana


The smell of crawfish etouffee and jambalaya filled the Monroe Downtown RiverMarket as the community enjoyed listening to “When the Saints Go Marching In,” played by the Bad Brass Monkey band.
Anyone who came to the RiverMarket this Saturday could feel the deep roots of Louisiana’s culture in the food, music and vendors at the Louisiana Food and Music Fest.
Senior communications major and intern at the RiverMarket, Abigail Thomas, said that this event was a great way to celebrate the rich culture Louisiana has.
“This event brings to light all the amazing things Louisiana has to offer. I love Louisiana. I have travelled around a good bit and there’s just nothing like Louisiana culture. This is a good way to bring people together and kind of gain a new respect for the stuff we have here,” Thomas said.
Louisiana’s delicious food was displayed through the various food trucks and vendors. Each food vendor had its own unique style of Southern classics like jambalaya, etouffee, crawfish and kettle corn.
David Johnson, a senior agribusiness major, enjoyed the delicious crawfish etouffee that was provided at the event.
Not only was the food a true symbol of Louisiana culture, but also the music played by various bands like the Bad Brass Monkey band, Josh Love Trio and the Joanitones.
Claire Howell, a senior nursing major, said that the bands were true examples of down south Louisiana music.
To Thomas, standing by the stage and hearing all the various bands play Louisiana music meant a lot to her.
“Music just plays a large part in my life. I’ve always loved it. My family is really big into music. We always go and play at different places. Whenever you hear Louisiana music, you know its Louisiana music. It’s something only we have,” Thomas said.
The event also gave vendors a chance to share their products with the Monroe community. Some of these businesses included Fuego Dulce, known for its sweet-heat sauces, Sessory Soaps, a natural bath and body product business, and Thousand Islands Winery, which is located in New York.
After learning about the festival, Steve Conaway and his team decided to bring their business to the festival for those in the community to taste their wine.
Conaway said meeting people from Louisiana was one of his favorite parts of the event.