In three short years, the Avoyelles Arts & Music Festival and accompanying July 4th activities in the City of Marksville have become “Louisiana’s July 4th Destination Festival!” – living up to its goal when the event was conceived by the Avoyelles Arts and Humanities Council four years ago. “Our Arts Council wanted to produce an annual event that embodied everything we love about Louisiana, namely the wealth of musical talent we’re known for. Throw in a BBQ cook-off, arts, crafts and historic parade and you have a festival where there’s truly something for everyone,” states Arts Council and Marksville Chamber of Commerce president Allison Ravare-Augustine.
Headlining the Detel Main Stage is none other than legendary, Grammy Award winning artist Wayne Toups, who will close the event with his signature zydeco sound. In addition to Toups, this year’s stellar line-up features Grammy nominated Lil Nathan & The Zydeco Big Timers, the critically acclaimed Grammy nominated alternative Cajun indie band Feufollet, Grammy nominated Hot 8 Brass Band from New Orleans, Shreveport native and Americana roots chanteuse Amy Lavere with special guest Will Sexton of the Sexton Texas music dynasty, Cenla’s rising country artist Mitch Attales & The Burn House Band and Avoyelles’ popular rock cover band Anxiety. The smaller BBQ Stage will host revered Cajun fiddler and storyteller Gerard “The Stump Jumper” Dupuy, Lafayette’s Dustin Dale Gaspard and Pineville rockers When All Is Lost, providing entertainment for the crowds and cookers enjoying the BBQ Cook Off.
In addition to all the great music, there will be plenty for the whole family to enjoy, including arts and crafts vendors, food vendors from all over the state, fun and games for the kids and art tents where children can create their own crafts. There will also be a welcome booth selling this year’s commemorative t-shirt and poster created by board member and renowned local artist Leah Moreau Morace.
The BCA sanctioned Avoyelles BBQ Cook-Off will begin on Friday, July 3rd, as grill masters from as far away as Texas and Mississippi will descend with their rigs to compete for $4,000 in cash prizes. There will be a festival kickoff party Friday night featuring Jonathan Bettevy and Parish Wide at 7:00pm. This event is free and open to the public.
The Avoyelles Arts & Music Festival takes place between Main and Washington streets in downtown Marksville and is situated on the grounds surrounding Fresh Catch Bistreaux and Broken Wheel Brewery. Opening ceremonies will begin at 10:00am the morning of July 4th with dignitary speeches and a performance of the “Star Spangled Banner” by Decades star Crisdensa Compton. At 6:00pm, Louisiana’s longest running July 4th Parade, sponsored by the Marksville Chamber of Commerce, will commence, departing from the Courthouse Square and rolling directly in front of the festival on Main Street. Festival grounds will close at 8:00pm, at which point many festivalgoers will migrate down Highway One to watch the city’s dazzling fireworks display. Indeed there is no better place to celebrate our nation’s birthday than downtown Marksville!
Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of Cenla’s civic and business community, AAMF is free and open to the public. For everyone’s safety, security will be enforced and no ice chests, golf carts or ATVs are allowed on festival grounds.