Tag Archives: crawfish

Crawfish Festival

Text (festival/traditional food)

“The Crawfish festival is a classic festival we’ve all been to growing up since it has carnival rides, games, and good food you can only really find in the south.”


My informant was born and raised in Texas and has been to the festival with family and friends numerous times since they were a child.

Q: “What is the crawfish festival?”

A: “The crawfish festival is a festival usually celebrated in southern states and includes carnival games, vendors, crawfish, and other southern comfort foods. It’s basically a celebration of southern culture and hospitality where people come together and appreciate community and popular southern delicacies.


The Crawfish Festival is popular in Louisiana, Texas, and other southern states for both locals and visitors to come together, enjoy, and commemorate southern culinary traditions not typically found in regions outside of the south. Crawfish isn’t the only traditional culinary form available at the festival, there also includes crawfish, étouffée, jambalaya, and more. These traditional foods are all part of Cajun and Creole cuisine. Crawfish are popular in Creole cuisine as they are abundantly found in the south, étouffée is a roux including crawfish and other seafood topped over rice, and jambalaya is another rice-based dish including sausage, chicken, and seafood typically served at large gatherings. People of all backgrounds and cultures travel to the south to participate in the Crawfish Festival as this is a way for cultural heritage and culinary lore to be spread and enjoyed across various communities. Seafood and dark meat products were major food sources for enslaved African Americans. This cuisine is a reflection of various influences and factors representative of a larger cultural identity in African American communities. Appadurai discusses the cultural significance of cultural cuisines in asserting cultural identity and representations of class hierarchies. These southern foods commonly eaten by enslaved African Americans, is an acknowledgment of African American resistance to slavery while embracing cultural customs predominately seen in the southern United States. This is representative of how culinary lore and recipes move where people don’t as they assert a cultural identity and exemplify resistance to the impacts of colonialism.

Holy Name of Jesus Crawfish Boil Competition

Main Piece:

SG is a mother in New Orleans. Crawfish boils are major events throughout New Orleans and Louisiana as a whole. They tend to be more of a social hour rather than a meal. Holy Name of Jesus, SG son’s school, has an annual crawfish boil as a fundraiser for their school. Around 10 different groups, parents and relatives of kids at the school, compete to see who makes the best crawfish boil. Generally each boil has potatoes, corn, crawfish, seasoning, but everyone puts their own spin on it trying to win the competition. The voters are the students and families visiting, and they each get tickets which they can give to the group that they think had the best crawfish. We have gone a couple of years in a row, and they usually have good music, atmosphere, and of course food. As a social hour, since Crawfish at typically eaten standing up, you stand around a table with others and socialize more than just eat crawfish. SG says that crawfish boils are a big aspect of Louisana culture.


SG is a resident of New Orleans who’s youngest sons attend Holy Name of Jesus School. She has attended this with the rest of her family since her youngest sons attended the school, and plans to go after.


The idea of this being a social event is really appealing to me. The idea of dining as a social event has always been present be it with dates, luncheons, or business dinners, but this is different. It is similar to a barbecue or cookout, in which you invite others over to eat with you and socialize, but is unique in how people are positions. The fact that you are usually standing at a crawfish boil is interesting to me because that is more like behavior at a bar which functions mainly as a social place. The idea of it being a competition is also interesting because it shows the culture of food in New Orleans. It shows that everyday people in the city care about perfecting the craft that their city is known for and that they want people to socialize around it.