Dave Rogers

For The Record

 

Barry Burton recalls being in attendance at the very first Mauriceville Crawfish Festival, back in 1981.

Now the Orange County Commissioner is set to be parade marshal for a new version dubbed the Mauriceville Crawfish Bash.

It is this Friday and Saturday, April 27-28, and features a parade, a crawfish cook-off and all-you-can-eat crawfish on Saturday bookended by two days of kiddie rides and live music.

The tradition of a weekend to celebrate crawfish in Mauriceville began after the Texas Legislature declared Mauriceville the Crawfish Capital of Texas.

That attention to mudbugs had waned, Burton says.

“This year the theme is all about the crawfish,” he said. “In the past, it’s been a little bit of a flea market and crawfish festival. But this is really going to be focused on crawfish.”

The site of the festival, the Mauriceville Heritage Association Community Center, is at 7441 Cohenour Road, just south of the intersection of Highway 87 and Highway 12.

Kickoff is Friday’s barn dance, which begins at 5 p.m. Entry is just $5 Friday and crawfish will be available by the pound.

But the all-you-can-eat (AYCE) is in effect Saturday, when a wristband, available for $30 presale, $35 day of the event, buys an owner admission plus all the crawfish you can eat as prepared by one of the 50 four-person cook-off teams from Texas and Louisiana competing for prizes.

AYCE crawfish will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (or as long as supplies last) Saturday.

“It’s going to be an excellent deal for somebody who wants to go in and get their fill of crawfish,” Burton said.

Saturday morning, a 5K race begins at 8 a.m. with the annual parade following at 9 a.m.

The parade route goes east on Highway 12, turning south onto Highway 62.

Burton is being honored for assistance he’s given the event during his years on county court, which are coming to a close. The county has granted organizers of the Crawfish Bash about $8,000 per year in hotel occupancy tax money, the commissioner said.  

“It’s a community event and they’re trying to expand it to being about more than just the community. They’ve made some changes to try to expand the customer base.”

Live music is by Dustin Kelly and Bayou Rush Friday; by  

Dustin Kelly, Donice Morace, and Dustin Sonnier Saturday.

The Mauriceville Heritage Association supports community connections and promotes material support for smaller community and family-centered organizations.

It provides land for the Orange County Livestock Association and 4-H, Mauriceville Youth Football and Cheer Association.

Its community center and outdoor pavilion are used rent-free by any nonprofit organization in the area, including the Orange County Extension Service, Boy and Girl Scouts, and free demonstrations, educational seminars and senior citizen services.