By Natalie Covher
Aside from the many meat pie recipes to taste, the Natchitoches Meat Pie Festival Sept. 16-17 offered a wide array of fun activities. There was no shortage of live music Friday or Saturday on the downtown riverbank. Friday’s line up consisted of trending north Louisiana bands including “At Aurora,” “Break Time for Francis” and “Lish Starshine & The Spirit Animals” that played a variety of rock styles and alternative music.
Friday night’s Brew Fest was “hoppin,” offering samples of specialty beers including NPJ’s new favorite Heliopolis by Red River Beer. The light German lager was crisp, bright and thirst quenching. At first it seemed that a few festival-goers may have tasted a few too many beers, but then it became apparent that the Zombie Poker Pub Crawl had begun.
The next day those wanting to burn off extra calories obtained by eating “alotta hotta meat pies” participated in the 5K and River Run. Music started up early Saturday and festival planners made sure that there was something for everyone. Genres included Rock, Blues, Jazz, R&B and Country. The last set of the night was “Mathew Ewing & The All Star Band.” Ewing is an Opelousas boy that started playing music at 9-years-old. Now 21, the artist, musician and songwriter celebrates the miracle that is music by sharing his country tunes wherever he can.
Now, this was the Meat Pie festival, and in line with any good festival named after a food, there was an eating contest and plenty to do with the beloved meat pie. There were demos on how to make meat pies, meat pie festival queens, meat pie judges and meat pie themed wares.
Games, inflatables and a mechanical bull kept kids occupied while parents enjoyed the good weather, great music and tasty food.
No Natchitoches festival seems complete without a dazzling fireworks show. In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Homecoming of our Vietnam Veterans the display was dedicated to all of our beloved veterans.