Posted: Apr 23, 2013 6:11 PM by Chris Welty
Updated: Apr 24, 2013 9:36 PM
The final stages for Festival International are going up across Downtown Lafayette. So far, they're ahead of schedule.
Stage crews and dozens of volunteers have been hard at work since Sunday building stages and putting up tents.
Steve Ward has helped build festival stages for the past twenty years and always looks forward to coming back to Acadiana.
"We've had a lot of the same stage hands, a lot of the same people coming back year after year. It's like coming back and seeing family."
Dozens of stages, tents and platforms will line the streets downtown. Barricades are in place and vendors are stocking up on ice. Crews are working feverishly putting the finishing touches before Wednesday. At this point, it becomes an around the clock job.
"They kind of blend together and daylights turn into night lights," said Dana Baker, Executive Director for Festival International.
As crews near the end of setting up, they reflect on how much festival has evolved.
"I can remember when Lafayette Street's stage was in an army tent and all the vendors were in the tent with it and now it's taken up the whole street over there. We always laugh because look how good festival is doing in their 20 whatever year doing it and going strong," said Ward.
As their construction wraps up, you can start constructing your own festival experience.
"Go to as many things as you can, download the ap, the pocket guide, map it out. You'll see you can do a lot more than you think you can," said Baker.