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Peach Fest, music weather the rain

July 11, 2014
Contestants take part in the annual Peach Eating contest Saturday in Railroad Park at the Louisiana Peach Festival. – Photo by Devin Dronett

Contestants take part in the annual Peach Eating contest Saturday in Railroad Park at the Louisiana Peach Festival. – Photo by Devin Dronett

RAY PATTERSON
Editor-in-Chief

Rain, rain go away; but if you must stay, let the music continue to play. The rain stayed and the music played. That was the scene at the 2014 Louisiana Peach Festival, which was met with a series of thunderstorms and sporadic showers that made their way through North Louisiana late Friday night.

As officials raced to make the necessary adjustments, like the rain flowing from the sky, festivalgoers slowly trickled in under tents, awnings and any place with a roof.“This is my luck,” said Richard D’Angelo, a first-time Peach Festival attendee and senior nursing major at Louisiana Tech. “I’ve been at Tech for four years now, finally get the weekend off to come to Peach Fest, and it’s pouring down rain.”

Jayce Lee, 7, of Farmerville, rides a mechanical bull. – Photo by Ray Patterson

Jayce Lee, 7, of Farmerville, rides a mechanical bull. – Photo by Ray Patterson

The rain didn’t dampen the excitement centered around the festivities — the vendors selling wares and food, the businesses seeking to turn profit from festivalgoers and the musical acts playing throughout the weekend.

As stagehands dressed the Railroad Park stage for rain, excitement grew among the crowd. “I’ve seen The Molly Ringwalds before and they are awesome,” D’Angelo said. “I’m also a fan of Louisiana Swamp Donky, and this is the first time that I will see them live.”

Louisiana Swamp Donky was forced to move their set back an hour from 6 to 7 p.m. due to the inclement weather, which led to the night’s headline act, The Molly Ringwalds, taking the stage shortly after 8 p.m.

“(The Molly Ringwalds) are worth the rain,” D’Angelo said. “They’re so much fun to watch and everybody is excited to see them.”

Fans packed the seating area of the Railroad Park stage to watch “the greatest ’80s cover band of all time,” D’Angelo said.

Characteristic of this festival, food was available in many shapes and sizes.
“I just ate a peach taco,” said Zak Books, a Monroe resident attending his first Peach Festival. “It was actually really good; I hope my wife lets me have another one. I may have to sneak it.”

And if the sweet tooth started howling for dessert, there was plenty including funnel cakes, caramel apples and peach flavored ice cream, among others.

Kids and parents alike enjoyed a number of carnival rides and activity booths. There were a rockwall, a paintball shooting alley, a kid’s roller coaster, a bumper car arena and more.

Ernest Marinez of Tyler, Texas cooks up some food. – Photo by Devin Dronett

Ernest Marinez of Tyler, Texas cooks up some food. – Photo by Devin Dronett

“This is just great to have this in Ruston,” said Lindsay Crump, a senior education major at Louisiana Tech. “I don’t have to drive to Monroe or Shreveport; I can just get in my car and drive downtown with my friends and have a blast.”

Saturday began much the same as Friday — with more rain and thunder—but again, fans still made their way into the event armed with umbrellas and dressed in ponchos and rain jackets.

Saturday night’s music featured Grammy Award-winning artist Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, who play a spicy blend of Cajun zydeco and blues.

Headlining Saturday night was Nashville recording artist and Bastrop native Dylan Scott.
“Dylan Scott was incredible,” said Sean Bradley, who made the trip from Monroe. “He’s a really talented musician and he knows how to put on a show. You can’t beat it for 10 bucks.”

Rain or shine — this year had a mixture of both — the Peach Fest roared on, pleasing a variety of rhythmic, food and entertainment appetites.

FOR MORE PHOTOS, GO TO THE TECH TALK FACEBOOK PAGE.

Email comments to rcp022@latech.edu.

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