LSN STAFF PHOTO / Lisa Soileaux
By official proclamation, Mayor Charles “Chuck” Robichaux has designated May 9-12 as “Frog Festival Days” in the city of Rayne in recognition of the 46th celebration. On hand to witness the signing of the proclamation recently at city hall were, seated from left, Festival Co-chairs Michelle Autin and Nikki Link, Robichaux, and Festival Chairman Jeremy Lavergne; standing, festival committee members Suzette Leonards, Angie Bourgeois, Tiffany Thibodeaux, Cynthia Oliver, Michael Guidry, Cordelia Pizzalotto, Fran Bihm, Beverly Rayon, Michael Pastor, Mary Alice Pastor and Brian Mouton.
46th annual Rayne Frog Festival this weekend
The city of Rayne is gearing up to welcome thousands of visitors to the 46th annual Frog Festival on May 9-12 at the Frog Festival grounds.
The unique “Fete des Oua Oua Rons” (Cajun French for “festival of the bullfrogs”) offers a safe, family-friendly event for all ages and cultures.
Rain or shine, the spacious Frog Festival Pavilion provides the perfect venue for the activities.
Advance carnival ride tickets for $20 are available from Mitchell Brothers Amusements at the Rayne Chamber office. The tickets can be used Thursday, Friday or Saturday.
Bring your ticket/tickets to the Carnival Ticket Booth for a special wristband that will allow you to ride any ride, as many times as you wish.
The Chamber will sell the advance tickets through May 4 during regular business hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The carnival’s “Family Night” is scheduled for Wednesday, May 9, between 5 and 10 p.m. with no admission charge.
On Thursday, May 10, adult admission is only $1 and children 12 years and under will be admitted free.
At the souvenir booth, the official Frog Festival poster, 2018 Frog Festival T-shirts and a large variety of “frog” items will be sold.
Handicap parking is available (look for the signs).
A Kids Area, providing arts and crafts, face painting and more, provides a safe place for the children to enjoy the festival with their parents.
No ice chests or pets will be allowed on the grounds.
The festival kicks off Wednesday, May 9, at 5 p.m. with “Carnival Family Night” with Mitchell Bros. & Sons Amusements offering “Wristband Specials” to popular rides for all ages, games and food. No admission will be charged to enter the grounds on Wednesday.
On Thursday, May 10, gates open at 5 p.m., again with free admission for children and adults enter with a $1 fee.
Vendor booths will open, carnival rides will be enjoyed, and musical entertainment will be provided by Temporary Fix at 5:30 p.m. Ronnie Matthews and Throwdown will take the stage at 7:30 p.m., providing music for Cajun Jitterbug Dance Contests.
After opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 11, the entertainment, food and fun continues. Gates open at 5 p.m.
Paint the Town Green judging will take place at local businesses and schools, with winners announced shortly thereafter.
The annual Arts & Craft Show, sponsored by the Rayne Civic Beautification Board and located at the Civic Center, will also open at 5 p.m. and will continue until 9 p.m.
Musical entertainment will begin at 6:30 p.m. with Louisiana Red taking the main stage, then at 8:30 p.m. Country Round Up, featuring Jeff Dugan, Tammy Lynn, Kip Sonnier, Steve Grisaffe, Tony Bruce, Richard Comeaux and Marc Hebert, will get your toes tapping.
Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin’ Cajuns will complete Friday’s entertainment at 10:30 p.m..
Admission on Friday and Saturday is $5 for adults and free for children 12 and younger.
The gates open at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, and the day begins with the annual Diaper Derby, sponsored by the Rayne Jaycees, at 9 a.m. on Stage II.
The Arts and Crafts Show will continue at the Civic Center between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
The annual Frog Derby Queen’s Contest, sponsored by the Rayne Lions Club, begins at 10 a.m. on Stage II and features pretty young ladies dressed in jockey attire and the biggest frogs jumping in all directions!
The Frog Festival 4-Ball Golf Tournament will tee-off at 10 a.m., sponsored by Cajun Pine Golf Club in Branch.
Meanwhile, back at the festival grounds on the Main Stage at 10:45 a.m., the third annual Cajun Accordion Contest, with contestants vying for winner category prizes, will definitely be a toe-tapping entertainment.
A new addition to “froggy” events will be the Froggie Fashion Dress Contest on Stage II at 11:30 a.m. while the carnival rides open for business.
Frog Cook-Off sampling will begin at the noon hour while, on Stage II, the frogs keep on jumping for the Frog Racing and Jumping Contests. This event is open to the public, including children and adults categories.
Frogs are available to rent for a small fee from sponsors, Rayne Jaycees and the Rayne Acadian-Tribune. Trophies and other prizes are awarded.
The Cajun Waltz Dance Contest will be held during the musical entertainment provided by Colby Latiolais and Ambush beginning at 12:30 p.m. on the main stage.
During the 2 p.m. Grand Parade, this year’s Parade Grand Marshal, Coach Lewis Cook Jr., will lead the line-up of area high school bands, local and visiting kings and queens, and floats in downtown Rayne.
Following the Grand Parade, winners will be announced for the Frog Cook-Off on the main stage at 3 p.m., followed by the hip-shaking sounds of Leroy Thomas and the Zydeco Roadrunners.
Another new event, kids sack races, will begin at 3:30 p.m. in the kid’s area.
On Stage II, the third annual Frog Leg Etiquette Eating Contest, sponsored by the City of Rayne, begins at 4:30 p.m.
A meet-and-greet with festival honoree Chef Issac Toups will begin at 4:45 p.m., just prior to the traditional tunes of Johnny Allen and Travis Matte on the main stage at 5 p.m.
Musical entertainment continues at 7:30 p.m. with Gyth Rigdon, followed by the 9:30 p.m. performance of national recording artist Doug Stone on the main stage.
The Chee Weez will complete the festival’s musical entertainment as they begin at 11:30 p.m. at the main stage.
For more information, visit the festival on Facebook or official website at www.raynefrogfestival.com.