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Popular Annual Catfish Festivals and Events with Exciting Fairs and Shows

Updated on July 14, 2011

Every year, many types of festivals are held all over the United States. Most have great food, entertainment, and even activities for the children. One such festival is an annual catfish event. Thousands of local people, along with tourists, will gather to see the vendors filled with homemade crafts, antiques and collectibles. The biggest part of these festivals is of course catfish dinners and contests to see who fries the best.

The Annual Labor Day Catfish Festival

In 1983, a committee organized the first Annual Labor Day Catfish Festival in Kingsland, Georgia and funded it by selling fish fries and chicken. The event was mainly attended by locals, and was held at the First Baptist Church. Several years later a mascot named "Cecil the Catfish became the trade mark face of this family event filled with fun and great food. By 2010, the event grew into a large, well-known festival that won several awards both regionally and nationally. During the 2011 three day Labor Day weekend, more than 65,000 people attended in downtown Kingsland, Georgia and browsed the many art and antique exhibits. Food vendors boasted farm-raised Southern Fried Catfish, hush-puppies, grits, coleslaw, and sweetened iced tea, and entertainment included musical performers and a parade.

The Cajun Catfish Festival

The Cajun Catfish Festival in Conroe, Texas draws 30,000 to 40,000 people annually, and benefits the Friends of Conroe, Inc. This organization contributes to nonprofit groups and promotes renovation projects in Conroe and Montgomery Counties. Activities include arts and craft exhibits from Texas and several surrounding states, along with rides for the children. Young dancers perform from various schools, and pony rides are available. The food vendors make readily available such things as Cajun catfish, shrimp, gumbo, frog legs, alligator, sausage, chicken, and red beans & rice. Several musical acts perform on stage to entertain the crowd.

The Franklin Parrish Catfish Festival

The annual Franklin Parrish Catfish Festival is sometimes held alongside the Chamber of Commerce's "Taste of Franklin" event in Winnsboro, LA. Vendors sell thousands of pounds of catfish fillets to hungry visitors, and ice cream and snow cones top desert favorites on the hot LA afternoons. Entertainment generally includes such things as live musicians, mechanical bull riding, antique car shows, pony rides, arcade games, and vendors with quilt shows.

The Dubuque Catfish Festival

Around Labor Day in Iowa every year, the annual Dubuque Catfish Festival is held in McDonald Park at the end of Hawthorne Street. Carnival rides for the children and live music are offered as entertainment throughout the weekend. Many local bands perform along with musicians from around the country. Pancakes are served for breakfast and catfish for dinner under a big tent. Admission to the festival grounds is generally free for those that arrive early.

A Few of the Many Other Catfish Festivals in the United States

The Virginia Catfish Festival is sponsored by the Southside Shrine Club and takes place at the Fairgrounds in Farmville. This event benefits 22 children's hospitals in the United States and Canada. The Society Hill Catfish Festival in South Carolina has a parade, games, prizes and a motorcycle and car show. The Evadale Catfish Festival in Texas has a tee-shirt designing contest for students, and crowns a new "Miss Catfish" each year. The Shoals Catfish Festival in Martin County, Indiana has sporting events, a cooking contest and "The Great Catfish Parade."


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    • WittyWeddings profile image

      Hayley LaGarce 6 years ago from Kansas City, MO

      I had no idea there were even such a thing as Catfish festivals. Some pictures of what happens at these festivals when definitely add to the appeal of your hub.