Crawfish & BBQ Festival to benefit Catholic Social Services

Terrance Simien
Terrance Simien

ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — Catholic Social Services in Robertsdale will be serving up food and music with a little bit of Cajun spice mixed in at the 5th Annual Crawfish & BBQ Festival to be held from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 28 on the grounds behind the Knights of Columbus Hall at St. Patrick School, 23070 Alabama 59 N., Robertsdale.

“We’re hoping to have about 300 tickets available,” said Phyllis Beam, director of Catholic Social Services in Baldwin County, “so this year will be a little larger and hope everybody is able to come out a ‘pass a good time’ as we say in New Orleans.”

This is the fifth year for the festival, which has been held in various locations around Baldwin County. This is the second year to hold the festival in Robertsdale, where Catholic Social Services calls home in Baldwin County.

As in previous years, a $35 ticket gets you all the crawfish you can eat, plus corn, sausage, crawfish pasta and chicken and sausage jambalaya. Those who aren’t into crawfish can choose barbecue, with baked beans and Cole slaw. There will also be a choice of desserts, adult beverages and sodas.

The event will also include games and activities for kids and the ever-popular crawfish races featuring real, live mud bugs.

Entertainment will feature live music by Terrance Simien and the Zyedeco Experience.

A native of Mallet, Louisiana, Simien is an eighth generation Creole from one of the earliest Creole families known to have settled in the Mallet area of St. Landry Parish.

Simien and his band have toured internationally, presenting over 7,000 live performances in more than 40 countries, and released dozens of solo recordings and collaborations. He has shared studio and stage with such big-name performs as Paul Simon, Dr. John, The Meters, Marcia Ball, Dave Matthews, Stevie Wonder, Robert Palmer and Los Lobos.

Simien has appeared on screen and contributed to the soundtracks of multiple movies, television films and commercials, including contributing to the soundtrack of the Disney film, “The Princess and the Frog,” set in New Orleans.

Simien and his business partner/wife, Cynthia, helped establish a new Grammy voting category, “Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album. His group, Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience, were the first ensemble to win a Grammy in that same category in 2008.

“He’s really great,” Beam said. “He and his wife teach Zydeco to school children, so he is great with kids. He really gets into it, throwing beads to the crowd and things like that. We’re looking forward to it. He’s a great guy and a great entertainer.”

Tickets are available through Catholic Social Services at 251-947-2384, or call Kathy Depre at 251-543-6859. You can also get tickets through Admission is free for children 12 and under.

Tickets can also be purchased for raffle drawings, Beam said. You can purchase one or multiple tickets and place them with the item of your choice. Tickets will then be drawn for each item.

Money raised from the event will go toward the purchase of food for Catholic Social Services food pantry, Beam said.

“This will really help us supplement our food program during the summer,” she said. “A lot of times donations run low through the summer months and that’s when the kids are home and need it the most.”