Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Thursday, April 21, 2016

R is for the Iowa Rabbit Festival and the Crowley International Rice Festival -- #atozchallenge

We're a bit over halfway with the A to Z Blogging Challenge and so far so good. I've been featuring Louisiana festivals that highlight the unique diverse culture that defines life in Louisiana.

Today's letter is R and R stands for the Iowa (I-way) Rabbit Festival. The annual March event used to be held in Iowa but now takes place in nearby Lake Charles' Burton Coliseum. The festival began in 1987 as a way to promote the only rabbit processing plant in the area. I did not know that. According to the website, the plant is long gone, but the festival lives on. Food options include fried rabbit, rabbit stew, and rabbit sauce piquant. Hasenpfeffer! Naturally, there is a cook-off. And a rabbit show.

Andrew and I attended this event in 2011. You can read about our adventure here.

R is also for the Crowley International Rice Festival. One of the things that perplexed and fascinated us since our arrival in Louisiana nine years ago is the local culinary fixation on rice. The locals eat rice with everything! One of the most popular everyday meals is "rice and gravy." (They usually include meat. No idea why they don't mention that.) Granted, rice is a major local cash crop. But I'd be curious how many pounds of rice the average person living in southwest Louisiana consumes a year. A lot! Oddly, and sadly for me, rice pudding is not thing here. ??

Oh, about the festival . . . it takes place October 20-23 this year. Likely the dates have something to do with harvest time. The Charlie Daniels Band will entertain concertgoers this year. That's a pretty big deal! As well as many other bands. And the Budweiser Clydesdales will be there! Events include a Rice Creole and Cookery Contest, a Poker "Rice" Run for the biker set, a 5K Run/Walk for the athletic types, and a Classic Car Show, for the gear heads. Read more on this festival here.

What is your favorite rice dish? Have you ever owned a rabbit? Do you eat rabbit?


Common Household Mom said...

My Dad made the most delicious pilau with all kinds of good things (pine nuts, golden raisins, etc) mixed in with basmati rice. Yum!

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

That sounds delicious, CHM! Do you ever make it?