Last weekend we attended the Long Beach Crawfish Festival at Rainbow Lagoon right on Shoreline Drive near the Long Beach convention center. It was a beautiful afternoon and the event location was set along a grass area surrounding a small lagoon, which was a nice touch and made the event seem very inviting.
Given that this was a crawfish festival, the theme throughout the event was Cajun and New Orleans inspired. There was a large stage with live jazz music that really set the tone for the entire festival experience. Many attendees took to the dancefloor as well, which looked like a lot of fun! Vendors were selling assorted arts and crafts and the festival’s own general store had a large collection of festive Mardi Gras items for sale like masks and giant beads.
We felt like the main attraction for this festival was definitely the food. The event featured two huge boiling vats used to boil the hundreds of pounds of crawfish that were served each day. We watched the whole process which ended with the crawfish being removed from the vats in large baskets on a hoist!
We purchased the crawfish feast, which included two pounds of crawfish, potatoes, corn on the cob, and dipping sauce. Shaded seating areas to eat was a hot commodity since it was a warm afternoon in Long Beach, and many attendees brought their own lawn chairs to set up under trees, which we thought was a great idea. Many people might think that crawfish is too much work to eat, but once we found a good table under a tent to hang out at, we enjoyed relaxing and taking our time eating each delicious crawfish. We felt like the amount of food was a good deal, being $12 during early pre-sales.
There was a large selection of additional food vendors offering signature southern-style cuisine, like cajun shrimp, gumbo, po’ boys, and beignets, just to name a few. We were pretty full after our crawfish feasts, but next time we’d like to try all the other foods offered!
Overall we thought the crawfish festival was a fun and unique event that stands out from many other food festivals because it has a great Cajun-inspired theme throughout. Attending this festival made us all want to make a trip out to New Orleans sometime!