CROWLEY – The International Rice Festival has been in action over eight decades. One woman, Betty Simon, has been attending the festival for over sixty years.
“Okay, I was thirteen when I was coming here. Sixty-three years I’ve been coming here, and I party from Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and enjoy every bit of it,” Simon explained.
Simon says there is a tradition she shares with everyone.
“I have never missed a year, and that’s a promise. I have witnesses.”
Simon says she doesn’t attend other festivals. It’s the Rice Festival she looks forward to every year.
“The food, the drink, the party, and the music… You meet people, have fun with your friends and your family, and you dance and party to midnight.”
She is usually the first one to claim her seat and one of the last ones to leave after midnight.
Simon made sure her children were at the festival every year, also. Now, her children and grandchildren join her for a good time.
“Me and my sister would come with my kids and sit on the corner and watch them do their little jig, and we would get up and do our jig, too.”
Her spirit is just as lively now as it was then. She hopes she still has another ten years under her belt.