The late Amos Roy, one of the original crawfish farmers to grow them in a rice environment, had the idea back in 1980. A festival to celebrate mudbugs.

It became a joke to at least one group, yet Roy pushed on to found a Mauriceville mainstay.

Mary Jane Johnson, festival co-organizer since those early days, says Roy got together with then-state Rep. Wayne Peveto and somehow had Gov. Mark White name Mauriceville the Crawfish Capital of the World. 

It then became clear to Roy and others an event was needed.
“At the time there was a rice farmers’ organization in the Golden Triangle, and he went before them and they more or less laughed at him,” Johnson says. 

Soon, however, efforts quickly kicked in.

“There were five acres of land the Young Farmers Association of Mauriceville was trying to buy so they could build a Community Center,” she says. “Well that group kind of went by the wayside, so the Crawfish Festival Association took over the bank note for what became the fairgrounds. Over the years proceeds from the festival have helped build a Community Center, buy 15 more acres for the fairgrounds and provide the football team with a playing field. This festival has done quite a bit of good for the community.”

The 30th annual celebration will be Friday through Sunday, April 16-18, at the festival fairgrounds on Texas 62 in Mauriceville.

Highlights include a parade, carnival, food and craft booths and entertainment by the Jamie Talbert Band, the Slow Rollin’ Lows (Friday), Abbey Schulze, Louisiana Scramble Band, Fifth Grade Choir, OJC; the Southeast Texas Square Dancers, the Cody Riley Band, Kelly Cordova and the Whole Shootin’ Match and Cheap Whiskey (Saturday) and a Battle of the Bands (Sunday). 

Prizes for the barbecue cookoff (brisket and rib) are $200 for first in each event, with trophies given. For cookoff information, call 651-6358.

For parade information, call 988-6533. Gates open Friday from 5-11 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m.-midnight and Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 

Parade winners will be announced at noon Saturday. The Crawfish Eating Contest and Crawfish Races begin at 1 p.m Saturday.
Wristbands are available for carnival rides.

For vendor booth rates, or festival information, call 782-3488.

Lakin Longoria, daughter of Kenneth and Samantha Holloway and Michael Longoria, will reign as 2010 queen over the festival.
• Queens are as follows, Young Miss Queen, Callie Dawson, daughter of Kathy Dawson; and Petite Miss Queen, Jayden Nicole Shay, daughter of Tammy and Mark Shay.
• Tiny Miss Queen, Shailee Watz, daughter of Stacy Watz; and Little Miss Queen, McKenzie Freeman, daughter of Greg and Misti Freeman.
• Dainty Miss Queen, Kenzie Hodges, daughter of Joshua and Krislyn Hodges and Toddler Miss Queen Lela Welch, daughter of Charles and Crystal Welch.

Sponsors include Kicker 95.1, Glen’s Express Collision, Accurate Audio and Video, Doucette Paint Co., Mauriceville Tire and Lube, Better Built Metal Buildings, The Rusty Rooster Bakery and Cafe, Moz Grill and Ben’s Tire and Lube.

Band Schedule:
• 6 p.m. – Jamie Talbert; 9 p.m. – Slow Rollin’ Lows.

• 10 a.m. – Abbey Schulze; 11 a.m. – Louisiana Scramble Band; 2 p.m. – Fifth Grade Choir, OJC; 4 p.m. – Cody Riley Band; 6 p.m. – Kelly Cordova and the Whole Shootin’ Match; 9 p.m. – Cheap Whiskey.

• Battle of the Bands.