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Chairman: 83rd International Rice Festival ‘one for the books’

It’ll go down as one of the best ever.
The 83rd annual International Rice Festival wrapped up with Children’s Day on Sunday, but that followed two and a half days of outstanding musical entertainment from two soundstages.
“I think is was one of the best festivals we had,” said Josh Spell, general chairman, as festival officials met Monday to de-brief.
“The people really came out and supported the festival and we couldn’t have asked for better weather.”
Shanna Monk, festival coordinator agreed.
“Overall, I think it was a very successful festival,” she said. “Our volunteers and sponsors made it happen — we couldn’t do it without them.”
The cool front that moved through the area on Wednesday brought “Rice Festival weather” for Thursday and most of Friday. Temperatures climbed on Saturday, but that didn’t deter the thousands who turn out annually for the Grand Parade.
And they stayed around for the music.
On the Supreme Rice Soundstage, Gyth Rigdon, returning to the Rice Festival for the second consecutive year — with a runner-up finish on The Voice sandwiched in there — packed the house and headliner Marc Broussard finished up the night with a stellar performance.
Over on the Cramer Equipment and Supply Soundstage, Grammy award-winner Chubby Carrier and Bayou Swamp got things rolling, followed by Louisiana Red and Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin’ Cajuns.
“The entertainment this year was phenomenal,” said Spell.
“From the entertainment to the carnival, everything was top notch,” Monk added.
“It looked like people really enjoyed the festival,” Spell said. “I didn’t hear about any problems at the festival.”
After a short rest, the Rice Festival Committee will start planning next year’s festival.
“We’ll start planning in the next couple of weeks,” said Monk. “We have some big shoes to fill next year.”
Spell concurred.
“This year was definitely one for the books.”

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