Every year, I say I am not going to stress out about Cajun Fest. Still, I do. This year, I once again worried about the weather. Normally, I go months without looking at a weather forecast. After all, I can always prepare as I go out the door. I put on a coat if it’s cold. I grab an umbrella if it’s raining. I yell and scream in delight every decade or three if it’s snowing. But, as Cajun Fest approaches, I study the ten day forecast. On the final two days before the forecast, I examine the hour by hour forecast. I worry about the weather because I have no control over it. What I don’t do any more is worry about whether Cajun Fest has been well planned nor about whether we will have enough people to do the back breaking work.
This year, we set yet another RECORD at Cajun Fest. We don’t have final numbers yet, but our gross is approximately $319,000. That’s more than 7% higher than last year, the previous record holder. And, it all happened without ideal weather conditions.
Why? Why was this year’s Cajun Fest so successful? Well, the same reason it was so successful last year and the many years before that. Literally a village of Visitation of Our Lady parishioners work on it for a full year.
More than 500 school children work on the festival. More than 1,000 parents do their part. All of our teachers, our aides, the school office staff and the school maintenance staff join in. The pastoral center, the rectory housekeeper/cook and our church maintenance man work on it. business owners from all over the West Bank buy advertising to hang on our fences. The Men’s Club puts its heart and soul into the effort. So do people from our more than 50 other ministries. We have good hearted volunteers whose only connection with the parish is that they work the festival. And, of course, I should not forget the thousand or two parishioners and neighbors who spend their money with us.
I give my profound thanks to the perhaps 2,000 people who, in one way or another, make Cajun Fest possible, but make it a huge success. I reserve special thanks, though, for three husband and wife teams. Our chairs were Courtney and Raymond Bond and Christian and John Cassreino. They were fabulous. I also give special thanks to Gary and Kit Payne. They sold approximately $70,000 of signs, more than 50% more money than was ever collected before they took over.
I ask God to bless Courtney, Raymond, Christian, John, Gary, Kit, and the entire village which made this year’s Cajun Fest a knockout winner.