Foret Tradition, Keith Frank at the Gueydan Duck Festival, Aug. 22, 2014
Gueydan, the Duck Capital of America, may be a small town of only about 1,500 people, but for 38 years (beginning in 1977), its citizens have been organizing a big-time South Louisiana festival. Held the weekend before the Labor Day weekend, the Gueydan Duck Festival offers lots of music, food, and carnival rides, plus contests like duck and goosing calling, hunting dog trials, and a wild game cookoff, among the other activities. I decided to make my first-ever visit to the festival on Friday evening, August 22, 2014.

The festival is located on a large field at the eastern edge of town just off Highway 14. When I arrived about 8 p.m., Ryan Foret and the Foret Tradition, a swamp pop band from Westwego (a New Orleans suburb), was performing in a large metal building. They’ve been around since 1999, playing swamp pop, R&B, soul, funk, classic rock, zydeco and other South Louisiana favorites at venues from Texas to Mississippi. The band was on the right side of a large double stage at the west end of the building. Various booths filled up the other half of the facility. Whirling fans mounted 10 feet above on pillars stirred the air, but it was definitely a sultry August night.

After taking some photos of the Foret Tradition, I meandered outside to see the carnival midway, which offered visitors a chance to win prizes at various booths and included a number of colorfully illuminated rides.

Keith Frank and the Soileau Zydeco Band started their set a little after 9 p.m. Because the festival has a doublewide stage, Keith was able to set up on the left side of the stage while the Foret Tradition was finishing up, so there was only a short break between bands. As some of the photos show, dancers soon filled the floor while Keith pumped out crowd favorites.
About 10:15 p.m., when it was already past my old man’s bedtime, I headed back to Eunice, missing the final band for the night, Geno Delafose and French Rockin’ Boogie. The festival continued on Saturday and Sunday.

For more about the Gueydan Duck Festival, go to www.duckfestival.org/.

For a listing of Cajun and Zydeco bands and Mardi Gras photos included on these Flickr pages, go to www.cajunzydecophotos.com
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