The ‘Madness’ is coming

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Mudbug Madness hits the riverfront this Thursday

The 31st annual Mudbug Madness Festival sponsored by CenterPoint Energy will take place on Memorial Day Weekend, May 22-25, in downtown Shreveport’s Festival Plaza.

The annual event, which features two stages of around-the-clock live music, as well as Louisiana crawfish served every imaginable way, is recognized as one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events.

“It’s definitely one of our events that has become a signature event for Shreveport-Bossier. It’s one where people come to me for info months in advance and it’s growing,” said Chris Jay, public relations and social media manager for the Shreveport-Bossier and Convention Tourist Bureau.

Last year, 80,000 lbs. of crawfish sold and an estimated 250,000-300,000 people attend the four-day period.

In four years, anecdotally, he’s getting more phone calls from areas as far away as New Orleans inquiring about the event.

“That was a symbolic moment for me because I think it speaks volumes about how well known it has become,” said Jay.

The 31st annual Mudbug Madness Festival will also feature the debut of the festival’s mobile app for iPhone, which is available for download through the iTunes App Store now.

Entertainment on the MetroPCS Stage for 2014 include many of the best-known names in Cajun and Zydeco music, a lineup that Jay says is the strongest in years, including several Grammy winners and zydeco legends such as: Wayne Toups, Thursday, May 22, 8:15-11 p.m.; The Pine Leaf Boys, Friday, May 23, 9-11 p.m.; Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, Saturday, May 24, 8:30-11 p.m.; and Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, Sunday, May 25, 8-11 p.m. Live entertainment on the Swamp Stage sponsored by Comcast Cable includes many of the Shreveport-Bossier region’s most popular rock and blues performers, such as: Dirtfoot, Thursday, May 22, 5-7:30 p.m.; Superwater Sympathy, Thursday, May 22, 8-11pm; Voodoo Bayou, Friday, May 23, 9-11 p.m.; and Cody Cooke and the Bayou Outlaws, Sunday, May 25, 9-11 p.m.

In addition to hot, boiled crawfish and a variety of vendors selling Creole and Cajun cuisine, the 31st annual Mudbug Madness Festival will feature crawfish eating and calling contests for all ages, street performers, children’s activity areas, and a Louisiana arts marketplace featuring original paintings, carvings, jewelry and crafts.  New to the festival are dance demos and games and prizes on the Swamp Stage all weekend.

Kids on the Bayou will open at 11 a.m. each day and will feature clowns, kids’ karaoke, singers, story-tellers, magic shows, hands-on art activities and more.

Admission to the festival is free until 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. After 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and all day Saturday and Sunday, admission is $5 per person. Children under 12 and military with ID are free at all times. Mudbug Madness Festival is a presentation of Downtown Shreveport Unlimited, a non-profit membership organization which serves as an advocacy group for downtown Shreveport.

For more information on the Mudbug Madness Festival, visit http://www.mudbugmadness.com.