Crawfish Cook-Off To Spice Up Weekend

The event is set to be a special one for competitors and the community alike. (Image from stpauls.com)

The event is set to be a special one for competitors and the community alike. (Image from stpauls.com)

(COVINGTON, La.) — “The quality of the crawfish is exceptional, and the fellowship of the community is even better.”

That summarizes what Alumni Association director Al Nastasi has to say about this year’s sixth annual Crawfish Cook-Off to be held on campus this Saturday.

On Saturday, April 18, 2015, St. Paul’s will host its sixth annual Crawfish Cook-Off, an event that includes all-you-can-eat crawfish to help benefit the Alumni Association and Hope House children’s advocacy center.

“We’ve had some changes to the layout of our campus, obviously, with the construction,” Nastasi said, “but it’s something we’ve always held on our campus, and we’ve made provisions to do so again this year.”

The event will center around groups competing for the top spot for best boiled mudbugs.

“We will have 28 teams competing in three different categories,” Nastasi said. “(The categories are) best boiled crawfish by people’s selection, best boiled crawfish by judges’ selection, and best decorated booth.”

Competitors are awarded first, second, and third place in each of those three categories, and the judges then do a tabulation and declare an overall winner based on points awarded in those three categories.

“The overall winner receives a complimentary team for next year’s event, which is valued at $500,” Nastasi said. “The first place winners for each of the smaller categories receive an engraved crawfish paddle, second place winners an apron, and third place winners receive a commemorative crawfish tray.”

Attendance has been extraordinary according to Nastasi, and he expects some special visitors to take part in the festivities, as well.

“One of the things that we’ve done in the last couple of years is to begin to tie this into our reunion weekend, where we get the reunion classes to come in town and link up this event with their individual class parties,” Nastasi said. “We plan to have strong attendance from our reunion classes (with graduation years) ending in a five or a zero.”

There may be some factors, including the weather, that hinder progress, but Nastasi said he and the Association have planned a way to continue the festivities.

Participants in last year's cook-off helped make the event one to remember. (Photo by stpauls.com)

Participants in last year’s cook-off helped make the event one to remember. (Photo by stpauls.com)

“Usually, the weather is extraordinary and the turnout is, as well.” Nastasi said. “This year, we are concerned with the weather based on the forecast, but we have more teams competing in it this year than we ever have, and we hope that the public and the community will come out and support us.”

Response over the years has been increasingly good, and Nastasi says that he expects that trend to continue.

“(Our response has been) favorable. It’s been progressively growing each year,” Nastasi said. “Departmentally, we find this to be one of the best constituent builders for our alumni base of all the events that we hold on campus. The feedback given to us by alumni (indicates that) this is their favorite event.”

The Cook-Off is open to the St. Paul’s community at large, current parents, students, and the outside community. Tickets are available for purchase in advance on the Alumni Association’s website. Advance tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for youths age 13-18, $5 for children ages 7-12, and $15 for alumni for the reunion classes with graduation years ending in five or zero. Children under age 7 get in free. Admission includes all you can eat crawfish and access to the children’s play area. Beer and other refreshments will be available for purchase.

Event day tickets at the gate will cost $30 for adults,  $25 for youths, and $5 for children. There will be two event day ticket locations: one is in Founders’ Circle, and the other between the Briggs Assembly Center and LaSalle Hall. Proceeds benefit multiple causes.

“Proceeds go towards the support of the alumni association, but each year, a large percentage goes towards supporting Hope House,” Nastasi said. “The Hope House assists us with the event in manning volunteers to help us. This is essential and integral to hosting the event. “

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