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Festival preparations underway in downtown; volunteers still needed

Posted at 6:36 PM, Apr 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-23 00:33:27-04

Festival International is just days away. The 33rd festival kicks off Wednesday and will take over downtown Lafayette.

The flags are out, passes are available, and we’ve already gotten a preview of this year’s artists.

Now, setup is underway to transform downtown into festival grounds.

The Fais Do Do stage was built on Monday. It’s the longest-running stage and first to be built since it is the only one with performers on Wednesday.

The stage will host Zydeco music on opening night and a variety of music throughout the weekend.

The main stage in Parc International opens up Thursday with the other stages opening up for the weekend, so the setup for those begins a bit later in the week.

The barricades were set up along Jefferson Street Saturday and will be blocking the street starting Wednesday afternoon.

On top of the great music, there’s dozens of street vendors and, of course, the delicious food and drinks we wait all year for.

It’s estimated that roughly 300,000 people will be in downtown Lafayette.

“You know, I ended up putting in 80 hours in six days last year, and it’s a lot of work, but to know that I was a small part of this massive festival that brings in people from all over the world, to have a really good time, and our town, makes it totally worth it,” said festival board member Jeffrey Corbello.

It takes hundreds of volunteers to make festival a true success, and roughly 170 more are needed.

So, if you’re interested in signing up, click here.

But, festival organizers aren’t the only ones who have to prepare for this weekend. For hotels, bars and restaurants downtown, it’s one of biggest weekends of the year.

The Juliet Hotel is the only hotel sitting right on Jefferson Street near all the festivities.

They say they’re fully booked for this weekend with all 20 rooms reserved since last year’s festival.

The hotel has to prepare with extra staff from the cleaning crew to extra security. However, the staff says interacting with the guests makes it all worth it.

“Every single shift that I’ve had, it’s always someone from somewhere. It’s never just people from America; it’s always very diverse,” said front desk clerk Andre Cazayoux.