JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - A taste of Louisiana was in the Lowcountry Sunday for the 25th Annual Cajun Festival at the James Island County Park.
The festival brings out caterers, food trucks and restaurants locally as well as from the region. Owner of The Caterer in Charleston, Jack Sheffield, says he's been a part of the festival for last 24 years.
"It's the real deal here, when you come through the gate of James Island County Park you're in Louisiana," he said.
Sheffield is a Louisiana native and he says he shares his recipes on The Caterer website.
"Today we will sell 2,500 pounds of boiled crawfish, a couple of hundred gallons of gumbo, a couple of hundred gallons of etouffe," Sheffield said.
There's a variety of food sold at the Cajun Festival, everything thing from authentic Cajun and Creole dishes to fair food as well.
"I love the spice, I love the crawfish I love the alligator, if it's spicy I go for it," a local, Jim Martin said.
Crawfish is the most popular at festival, some eating it for the first time, including local Barnie Ehrmann. He says his friends taught him how to eat them right.
"Pop the tail off, suck the juices out of the head, then you peel the tale and eat the tail," Ehrmann said.
Others at the festival are pros and many participated in the Crawfish Eating Contest. The person who eats the most in 30 seconds wins. West Ashley resident Craig Browdy is a two- time winner and this year's champion. He ate 32 crawfish in 30 seconds to win.
"You've got to like crawfish first of all and it's all in the technique, I've been studying crawfish for years," Browdy said.
Many people enjoyed dancing to live performances from a native Louisiana style band called Terry and The Zydeco Bad Boys. Kendrick Domingue plays in the band from Duson, Louisiana.
"We come give some good quality Zydeco music from down south Louisiana," Domingue said.
He says it originated from the native people of Louisiana.
"After they get out the fields that's how they would enjoy themselves, they get somebody on the accordion, wash board and just have a house dance and just have a good time," Domingue said.
About 9,000 people came out for the event and many say they plan to return.
"Look at the day, you can't beat it, this is spring time in the Lowcountry," Martin said.