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Crawfish are the main attraction at Mudbug Madness.
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Boiled crawfish served with potatoes, corn, and red beans and rice.
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A live crawfish.
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Children’s activities abound in Festival Plaza during Mudbug Madness.
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Face painting and other arts activities keep kids entertained.
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This year's Mudbug Madness Festival offers something entirely new to Shreveport patrons; it is the first festival to have its own "app." Downloaded via iTunes, the app will "tell everything and more than the website," according to Melanie Bacon, executive director for Downtown Shreveport Unlimited (DSU). Credits for this marvelous innovation go to the app’s developer, James Lambert, and to the Shreveport Regional Airport for funding the app's creation, Bacon said.
In addition to the new app, festival attendees will see new vendors and high quality merchandise and food during its four-day run in Festival Plaza. Hand-drawn art and soldered jewelry, new contests and an increased level of activity on the Swamp Stage are among the high points of the upcoming Mudbug Madness, Thursday through Sunday, May 22-25. Kids and adults can compete in crawfish (mudbug) eating and crawfish-calling contests.
Other aspects of the annual festival that celebrates Louisiana cuisine and music will be the same as years past. Mudbug Madness remains the primary fundraiser for the DSU, an umbrella organization geared to developing and promoting quality of life events to enhance Shreveport community life. It draws an estimated 50,000+ visitors every day, who gather to chow down on a variety of foods from 30 food vendors while they listen (or dance) to the Cajun, zydeco, jazz, and blues flowing from three stages. The children's area lets young folks explore their creativity and race live crawfish.
Mudbug's musical line-up is stronger than ever, drawing heavily on local favorites all four days. Wayne Toups, performing on the MetroPCS stage Thursday evening, has a strong appeal for the event's traditional audiences, while Dirtfoot and Super Water Sympathy appeal to younger festival attendees.
Recognized as one of the Southeast Tourism Society's Top 20 events, Mudbug Madness is the DSU's primary fundraiser, Bacon said. The money it brings in is used to produce BREW (in partnership with the Red River Revel staff) each October and to coordinate holiday decorations for downtown streets and buildings.
By Lani Duke