News Column

Annual Zydeco Fest offers cruise of entertainment

June 10, 2014

By Vershal Hogan, The Natchez Democrat, Miss.

June 11--Those looking for a family-oriented good time with music, rodeo events and four-wheeler riding need look no further than southern Adams County this weekend, organizers of the Sibley Zydeco Festival say.

The sixth annual zydeco festival will kick off Friday and continue Saturday. Gates will open at 5 a.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Saturday.

"We are looking to showcase a lot of different types of music and bring the people in the Miss-Lou together to have a great time for one weekend," organizer Jerry Lyles said.

In past years, the festival has been limited to one day, but due to growing popularity, Lyles said he decided to add Friday night events.

"On Friday nights, we have a lot of out-of-towners coming in, people with RVs, and so we decided to add some events Friday for those folks," Lyles said.

The Friday events include a rodeo at 7 p.m. and performances from The Mellow Bank starting at 8 p.m.

Saturday's events continue with live performances from the festival's musical acts starting at 2 p.m., but mechanical bull riding and mud and trail riding will be available all day.

"We have an ATV track on the place that we will be having a little fun with," Lyles said.

Rodeo roping events will start at 7 p.m. Saturday, and will include calf roping, team roping, Angola bull-dogging, break-away, goat roping and barrel racing.

Festival volunteer Connie Merrick said attendees are allowed to bring their own coolers and grills onto the grounds.

"A lot of the people like to come and use the festival to have a family reunion," she said.

"They can come out with their grills and barbecue as a family, and have a really great time."

For those who don't want to grill, food vendors will be on site.

The headline musical act will be Lakeside, known for the hit "Fantastic Voyage" in 1980, which reached No. 1 on the R&B charts and No. 55 nationally.

Lakeside had 17 songs that were ranked in the top 100 on the R&B charts from 1978 to 1990. Besides "Fantastic Voyage," the group had five other top 10 hits, including "It's All the Way Live (Part 1)," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "Raid" and "Outrageous."

The R&B singer Cupid will also take the stage at the festival. The Lafayette-born singer's song "Cupid Shuffle" went double platinum after it reached No. 66 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 21 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

He broke the Guinness World Record for longest line dance by assembling 17,000 people in Atlanta in 2008. He has appeared on the show "The Voice," and his music has been featured on the films "Step Up 2: The Streets," "P.S. I Love You," "Nancy Drew" and "Jumping the Broom."

Other performers at the festival will include:

--Leon Chavis

--"Big Pokey"

--Lady Trucker

--Robert "The Juice" Lenoir


"We will have zydeco, R&B, blues and old school bands," the festival's social media manager Gregory Jones said. "There will be something for the younger generation and for the older generation, they can all come together and listen to music that both generations can enjoy."

Lyles said next year he hopes to expand the festival to two weekends, including a weekend with a country music stage.

"This has grown consistently over the years, and the festival is known through the South now," he said.

General admission for Friday night is $10. General admission for Saturday is $20.

Admission for children is $10, and a $5 admission fee is charged for each all-terrain vehicle or four-wheeler entering the festival grounds.

For more information, visit

The festival grounds are located on Will Washington Road.


(c)2014 The Natchez Democrat (Natchez, Miss.)

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Source: Natchez Democrat, The (MS)

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