crawfish

Ramon Vazquez and Marizol Mora enjoy a feast at last year's Crawfish Festival at Rainbow Harbor.

The giant pots will be boiling once again and filled with delicious little freshwater creatures at the annual Long Beach Crawfish Festival.

The popular event, which attracts thousands to Rainbow Lagoon every summer, returns July 26-28 with a New Orleans-style celebration anchored by a crawfish feast.

“Either you can travel all the way to New Orleans and deal with the weather there or have the perfect weather here and a little bit of New Orleans in Long Beach,” said Tracie Wintori, the event director.

“It’s energetic, it’s festive and it’s good food,” she added.

Prepared on-site in massive pots, the tender crustaceans are served Louisiana-style, which means with heaping portions of cajun potatoes and corn on the cob alongside a tangy remoulade dipping sauce.

And if your stomach is feeling really adventurous, you can try other Louisiana-style delicacies such as fried frog legs. Or maybe take it down a notch and order some catfish, gumbo, jambalaya or bread pudding.

You can’t have a New Orleans-style crawfish cookout without music, so there will plenty of it with DJs and live bands including David Sousa and The Zydeco Mudbugs, the Bear Brass Band, which plays traditional New Orleans jazz, Doc’s Blues Band, a harmonica-driven blues band, and you.

What? Who me?

Yes you rock star, because there will be a karaoke stage from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday where you can hop behind the mic and sing your little crawfish-filled heart out while you’re backed by a live band.

And there’s a second line parade daily.

The festival runs from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, July 26, and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 27-28, at Rainbow Lagoon. General admission is $5 July 26; $13 July 27-28. VIP admission is $20-$40. For more information, go to longbeachcrawfishfestival.com.

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