Cypress Sawmill Festival begins Friday
Fair workers, from left, Tina Smith, Charles Payne and Gus Montanez prepare a ride today for the Patterson Cypress Sawmill Festival scheduled Friday through Sunday at Kemper Williams Park near Patterson. The family event features a professional lumberjack show, a cypress sawmill display, golf, fishing and softball tournaments, a passe-partout contest, arts and crafts, a classic car and truck show, a street fair, and food and drink booths. The fundraiser benefits the Cypress Sawmill Museum Foundation that supports the museum exhibits at Louisiana State Museum — Patterson.
(The Daily Review Photo by Diane Miller Fears)
The 24th annual Patterson Cypress Sawmill Festival begins Friday with the gates opening at 3 p.m. at Kemper Williams Park near Patterson and will run through Sunday.
Arts and crafts activities will be open as the festival begins and other activities start a couple hours later, according to Steve Bierhorst, festival director. He said gates will open at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Friday admission is $5 per car and $10 per car on Saturday and Sunday. An admission pass for all three days is $20.
This event is a family festival with something for everybody, Carrie Stansbury, Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau executive director, said.
“The festival has a variety of activities for the entire family. You can do as much or as little as you want,” Stansbury said. “And of course, there is always great food.”
In addition to live music each day, the festival features professional lumberjack shows, chainsaw carving, a cypress sawmill display, golf, fishing and softball tournaments, a passe-partout (two-person saw) contest, arts and crafts, Classic Car and Truck show, a street fair with rides and games, a fun walk, food and drink booths, Zoo-Zoom, an exotic traveling petting zoo, and an old engine display.
Live local talent will compete Friday night from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Country Showdown, a country music talent contest and KQKI radio promotion. Every year the contest spotlights some of the best local performers.
Twelve contestants will be performing country music this year, Julie Boyne, KQKI general manager said.
“The winner of the contest will compete for the state title later this year,” Boyne said. “The winner of the state title will receive $1,000 and advance to regional finals this fall.”
Cajun Classics will perform after the Country Showdown Friday from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m.
Saturday entertainment includes Joel Martin Project at noon, Explosion at 3 p.m., Hank Staples & Thundercreek Band at 6:30 p.m., and South 70 Band at 9:30 p.m.
A fireworks salute to support and honor the services of personnel serving in the armed forces as well as police and fire departments will be made at 9 p.m. Saturday.
The Sunday lineup includes Waylon Thibodeaux at noon, Nik-L-Beer Band at 2:30 p.m., and Don Rich Band at 5 p.m.
The festival is an annual event held the first weekend in April and draws 30,000 to 40,000 people for the three days, Bierhorst said.
“A lot of people come to Patterson for the festival, even from outside the state,” Bierhorst said. “They will buy gas and supplies at our stores. They eat at restaurants in the parish … as well as partake of food and drink at the festival.”
The money raised goes to the Wedell-Williams Aviation & Cypress Sawmill Museum to help to continue to educate people about the heritage of the Aviation and Cypress industry in the Patterson area, Bierhorst said.
Additionally, a lot of nonprofit organizations use the festival as an opportunity to raise funds for programs that go back into the community, he said.
Overnight camping is available at Kemper Williams Park for $25 per unit, per day, with a two day minimum. For reservations and additional information contact Kemper Williams Park at 985-395-2298.
Further information on the festival is available at www.cypresssawmill.com,. For a complete schedule of events, contact the Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau at 985-395-4905, 800-256-2931 or visit www.cajuncoast.com/cypresssawmill.