For 28 years, the Anderson County Crawfish Boil and Cajun Festival of Food has been more than just a tradition — it's been a fund-raiser that raises thousands of dollars in scholarships for area youth.
“We will be cooking 10,000 pounds of crawfish this year and 15,000 pounds of catfish filets, 1,500 pounds of french fries and probably 8,000 hushpuppies, as well as tons of potatoes, corn and onions,” Crawfish Boil founder Tom Clamon told the Herald-Press Thursday.
This year's event will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Anderson County Youth Livestock Pavilion, located off U.S. 287 North in Palestine.
“I started this 28 years ago in my parking lot,” Clamon said. “I've always enjoyed cooking crawfish and have continued to do it.
“It started out of a need to give back to the community through scholarships to young kids — they are the ones that are going to be taking care of us one day.”
The all-you-can-eat crawfish boil will include seasoned potatoes, corn and onions all boiled with seasoning. Catfish, french fries and hushpuppies also will be available.
Ice tea and water will be served with the meal or those attending can bring their own beverage.
“Its good food and a lot of fun,” Anderson County Youth Livestock Association Crawfish Boil committee member John Schwab said. “About 1,700 to 2,100 come every year — thank goodness not all at once, we usually have an early crowd and a late crowd. We have about 75 volunteers who help us boil crawfish, cook fish, serve on the line and clean tables.”
Advance tickets to the crawfish boil are $25 per person. Tickets at the gate are $30 each. Tickets for a table of 10 will be $275 (tickets for tables of 10 should be paid by Saturday morning).
Tickets are available at the following Palestine businesses: Cavender’s Boot City, 248 S. Loop 256; L&L Shoe Store, 203 W. Oak St.; and Roundhouse Package Store, 415 W. Spring St.
"We encourage everyone to come out and support the youth of Anderson County — that’s what the whole thing is about,” Schwab said.
During the 40th Annual Anderson County Youth Livestock Show held in April, $46,000 in scholarships were given out to 4-H and Future Farmers of America members — which included the ACYLA Crawfish Boil Scholarship Fund, Boston Porter Memorial Scholarship Fund, ACYLA Show Scholarship Fund and the Jim Bishop Memorial Scholarship.