The Avoyelles Arts & Music Fest (AAMF) returns to downtown Marksville this July 4th with a stellar line-up of entertainment, arts, crafts and food vendors, BBQ Cook-Off, fun and games for the kids in addition to Louisiana’s longest running July 4th parade and fireworks display following the festival. “We doubled our attendance last year and expect to do the same this year with July 4th falling on a Friday,” states Allison Ravare-Augustine, President of the Avoyelles Arts Council and Chair of AAMF 2014.
Festival grounds are located between Main and Washington Streets in downtown Marksville, situated and anchored by Fresh Catch Bistreaux on Hwy. 1 (Tunica Drive). Thanks to local and corporate sponsors such as Ayneka Bruno State Farm and Paragon Casino Resort (this year’s title sponsors), AAMF is free and open to the public. Event hours are 10:00am to 8:00pm. Festival goers should make note that no ice chests, personal golf carts or ATVs are permitted due to insurance regulations. There will be a main stage surrounded by arts, crafts and food vendors. The deadline for booth registration for all vendors is June 15th and interested vendors can call the numbers listed below.
Once again, the Budweiser Main Stage plays host to a dazzling and diverse line-up of Louisiana’s finest musicians, including NBC’s “The Voice” Finalist Cole Vosbury, “Zydeco Boss” Keith Frank & The Soileau Zydeco Band, international Reggae festival favorites Ashes of Babylon, the world travelled Lagniappe Brass Band from New Orleans, the spirited funk and jazz fusion of Tyler Kinchen & the Right Pieces, Pierre Part’s swamp pop kings South 70 and Avoyelles native sons Cypress City kicking it all off. The BBQ Stage features a great mix of local and regional favorites, including History Channel fixture Gerard “The Stump Jumper” Dupuy (traditional Cajun storytelling), Alexandria’s Mitch Attales & The Burn House Band (country with a rock edge), guitarist Zach Johnson and variety pop combo Dief & Friends. Henry Reggans Sr. & The Louisiana Sidemen open the BBQ kickoff party the night before.
In addition to all the great live music, the festival is the site of the IBCA sanctioned Avoyelles BBQ Cook-Off, which features $4,000 in cash prizes and a custom grand champion trophy. “Teams from Texas to Mississippi have been registering so the competition should be fun and interesting,” says BBQ Chairperson Lexie Leger. Grillmasters can register by calling Lexie at (318) 359-2906 or e-mailling email@example.com. Adding to the fun is a Poker Run, which meets at Fresh Catch before proceeding to various stops in the parish, including Paragon Casino Resort. Art projects are scheduled for the kids in addition to traditional games, rides and eating contests. Vendors, including arts, crafts and food, can register by calling Ayneka Bruno at (318) 253-6868. To enter the poker run, please call Leah Morace at (318) 229-2506.
Visiting festivalgoers needing more information on the City of Marksville, including accommodations and information on other businesses, can call Kelsey Roy at The Marksville Chamber of Commerce at (318) 253-8599.
For more information on the Avoyelles Arts & Music Fest, please call Allsion Augustine at (318) 264-9392 or Van Roy at (318) 240-3495.