The 65th Louisiana Cotton Festival kicked off in fine fashion Tuesday night at the Ville Platte Civic Center with the traditional Contredanse and the crowning of the King and Queen of of Heritage Manor Nursing Home. Congratulations to new King Alvin Soileau age 96 who has 2 children, 3 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. He is a World War 2 Veteran.The runnerup to the King is Gary Landreneau age 75. He was a pipeline laborer. Congratulations to the new Queen: Mary Dupre age 83 of Reddell who has one daughter, six grandchildren and six great grandchildren. The runnerup to the Queen is Bess Fontenot age 93 who has 4 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.
The Cotton Pickers under the direction of Renee Brown entertained the crowds.
The young Contredanse dancers was the largest group ever under the direction of Melanie Soileau and Anita Fontenot. The dancers are: Marcus Sam, Julie Mabe, Stephanie Vidrine, Carly Soileau, Beau Fontenot, Susan Lafleur, Lillian Stanfield, hanna Arabie, Deanna Blankenship, Carley Fontenot, Ashton Vidrine, Grace Bordelon, John Bordelon, Leslie Forman, Janiah LeDay, Ahmod Murphy, Jalaina Freeman, Jaiden Austin, Paige WIlliams, Joshua Williams, Balaigh Williams, Carlee Grace Fontenot, Erin Louis, Bailey Edmand, Victoria Ardoin, Ashaylie Durgin, Shakaylie Dick, Shanijah Edwards, Dereyel Roy, Ashlynn Thibodeaux, and Darmarion Freeman.
Two U.L. Lafayette students were filming portions of the event. Students Adelai Lynch and Hannah McGee are filming a documentary on Louisiana Festival Queens entitled "Bayou Belles".
Cotton Festival Association President Pat Derousselle was the emcee.
Classic Hits 92.5 KVPI was there broadcasting the entire live for our listeners.