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Festival calls all crawdads
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 01:00

The Camp Verde Crawdad Festival is back once again to bring a little Cajun atmosphere to the desert Friday and Saturday, June 4 and 5.

There will be plenty of the Crawdad Festival’s namesake on hand, along with shrimp and red potatoes, to wash down with a cold beer or other beverage if alcohol’s not your thing.For the third year in a row, the event is being organized by the Verde Valley Rangers, a group that stepped up to the plate when the Town of Camp Verde got out of the festival organizing business.

Aside from owning the land the event takes place on, the town hasn’t had anything to do with putting the festival together, Parks and Recreation Supervisor Lynda Moore said.

“[The Rangers] have done an excellent job,” Moore said. “They’re bringing all the music, all the games.”

The group uses its proceeds from the festival for scholarship funds and other worthy causes, but this year, the Rangers are determined to give back even more to the community.

The two day affair promises to be profitable for a few lucky visitors. The Rangers are planing to give away about $5,000 in cash and prizes, said Kirk Smith, an event organizer.

The group plans to raffle off a portion of that, Smith said.

Some will be split among winners of a unique costume contest, Smith said. While the Rangers are going for a Mardi Gras theme, any costume can win as long as the judges think it deserves to take home a prize.

The Rangers will also be selling feathered masks and other accessories that come to mind when you think of Mardi Gras. But, unlike a raucous night in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the Rangers would like visitors to show a little decorum.

“We just don’t want any costumes that are offensive,” Smith said. “It is a family event, so we want to keep it family-friendly.”

Of course, there will be plenty of the festival’s namesake crawdads on hand, along with shrimp and red potatoes, to wash down with a cold beer or other beverage if alcohol’s not your thing.

Crawdad FestivalAnd if crawdads aren’t your thing, the Camp Verde Fire District will be cooking up burgers and dogs.

There will also be plenty of vendors and games for children, Smith said, and there will also be crawdad fishing and racing. While it’s unclear what exactly motivates a crawdad to make it to the finish line, Smith promises it’ll be a good time for everyone involved.

As if crustaceans tearing up the track wouldn’t be entertaining enough, the popular cover band Aces ’N’ Eights will be there both nights to keep the crowd tapping its feet. All this and more could be yours for $5 at the door, but Smith said half-price tickets will be available at certain businesses around town, listed on the Ranger’s website.

The Rangers have also been promoting the event through out the Verde Valley and on the other side of the mountain in Prescott, Prescott Valley and elsewhere, and organizers are hoping for a good turnout. Tickets will also be for sale in those areas, Smith said.

The event is scheduled for 5 to 10 p.m. at the town soccer field behind the government complex on Main Street.

For more information, visit or call the Camp Verde Chamber of Commerce at 567-9294.


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