For the past 24 years, the Cane River Zydeco Festival has been a mainstay of the Labor Day weekend in our parish. The festival, sponsored by the Magnolia Peace Officers’ Association, started with a “poker run” that attracted motorcycle enthusiasts from near and far who competed for fun prizes while enjoying a picturesque ride through our parish.
The festival attracted people from all over the local area and beyond who filled the riverbank seating area. The dance stage was continuously filled with dancers of all ages.
The concert consisted of two singers and their bands. Marcus Ardoin & Da Zydeco Legendz was the first act, playing a variety of Zydeco tunes. Natchitoches’ DJ Rob Real kept up a steady stream of music during the day keeping the crowd’s spirits high. The night’s headliner was Opelousas’ Lil’ Nathan & Zydeco Big Timers. He did not stop for a minute, keeping the crowd on their feet and dancing all evening to a high energy set of classic and new Zydeco music.
The festival is fun with a purpose. The Magnolia Peace Officers Association uses the proceeds for a wide variety of good works in the community. From fan drives to scholarships and school supplies, the money raised by the annual Zydeco Festival is returned to the community.
The Cane River Zydeco Festival is terrific family fun and is part and parcel of what makes living in Natchitoches so special.