West Monroe, Louisiana: Good Ol' Fried Fest to Include Outdoor Movies

Northeastern Louisiana residents will get a taste of everything from lawn mower racing and Southern-style music to fried mountain oysters and barbecue at West Monroe's new Louisiana Southern Fried Festival in late May.

City officials announced the formation of the new festival this week, which will be May 28-30 at the Ike Hamilton Expo Center. The festival will feature music groups ranging from country and western to bluegrass, gospel and Christian, as well as food events and outdoor activities.

Several months ago, Mayor Dave Norris ask Expo Center Director Robin Hatten, Convention Center Director Darren Burgess and Parks and Recreation Director Doug Seegers to develop a plan for the festival. Norris said the results of that work was not disappointing.

I think it's going to be a lot of fun, Norris said. We built the Ike for the purpose of attracting people from the outside to come to the area, but I asked them to work on putting together a couple of events a year that our folks would enjoy going to.

We're really excited.

The event will be 3 to 11 p.m. May 28; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. May 29; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 30. Admission is $15 per day for adults, $5 per day for kids and veterans with ID and $25 for a weekend pass. Children 5 and under are admitted free.

Hatten said the city has been able to put together a wide range of activities and events for the fledgling festival. Activities will be held in every area of the complex, both indoors and outdoors.

On May 28, several bands will perform on an outdoor stage, including the Kentucky Headhunters, Buddy's Old Time Country Band, ratchet... and the Swamp Hippies.

Events planned for Friday include a high school rodeo, a mechanical bucking bull that can be ridden and old Western movies will be shown at an outdoor theater set up on a grassy area of the complex.

When it turns dark, we'll have a projector and big screen set up for people to watch old spaghetti westerns, Hatten said. We'll have a lot of chairs set up for people who want to watch them.

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