THE INTERNATIONAL RICE FESTIVAL
The International Rice Festival, held annually every third full weekend in October, is one of Louisiana's oldest and largest agricultural festivals. The first festival was held on October 5, 1937 as the National Rice Festival; it was renamed the "International Rice Festival" in 1946 when the festival was resumed after a hiatus during World War II (1942–1945).
The celebration is held to honor the rice industry and its hardworking farmers. It has brought attention to the importance of rice as a food and emphasizes its place in the world.
Throughout the weekend, two sound stages are filled with live entertainment. Past entertainers include Percy Sledge, Joe Diffie, and Shenandoah just to name a few. Local artists such as Wayne Toups, Geno Delafosse, Chubby Carrier and Dustin Sonnier have taken the stage along with Gyth Rigdon, Jamie Bergeron and Marc Broussard.
Festival goers can participate in many additional activities and events such as The Classic Car Show, the Crowley High 5k Run Walk and the Fiddle and Accordion Contest. The Rice Festival Queen’s Contest, the, Rice Eating Contest and Frog Derby are always must-see events. The festival has not one but two parades during the weekend. A Children’s Parade is featured on Friday afternoon and The Grand Parade takes the streets on Saturday afternoon.
Due to the pandemic, the 2020 Festival was cancelled along with many events throughout our state, parish and city.
Our Festival celebrates rice as a unique treasure which has impacted our past, determines our present and provides our community’s future. Rice is the cornerstone by which family farms, local businesses, and our community’s economy is built upon. The International Rice Festival honors and respects the grain that not only makes us a community but family.