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|It takes a village to raise a catfish festival...|
Months of preparations come together Saturday for the much anticipated Franklin Parish Catfish Festival, held annually in historic downtown Winnsboro.
The once local affair to promote the catfish industry in the parish, has grown over the years into the largest one-day festival in the state. Today, the spread covers six square blocks of downtown Winnsboro with traffic detoured from Hwy. 15.
According to Paul Price, festival committee member, four thousand to five thousand pounds of catfish will be served on the day of the festival.
For the past 23 years, community leaders, city workers and a host of volunteers have worked tirelessly to insure that guests attending the festivities enjoy a day of family-fun in a safe environment.
"We utilize security personnel from many different sources," said Price, "including the National Guard, and thankfully, we've never had a major incident in the history of the festival."
The popularity of the event has earned national attention and draws visitors from all over the country. The combination of lively entertainment and plenty of farm-raised fried catfish has preceded itself in reputation and put Franklin Parish on the festival map. But no community event is better represented than with the hospitality of the local flavor – the people.
As citizens of this parish, we must recognize the importance of the festival and the economic impact it has on our community. Many visitors of past festivals have expressed their appreciation for the down-home southern hospitality they received while attending the event. The successes of the past are only partially due to our beautiful city and charming downtown area. The rest is up to us as gracious hosts to welcome visitors and traveling vendors to the place we call home.
So if you stumble upon one of these out-of-towners, or if you just happen to run into a local vendor cooking catfish, share with them some of that home-spun kindness and watch it come back to us in the future successes of the Franklin Parish Catfish Festival.