The 31st annual Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival, put on by The Friends of Conroe, is this weekend in downtown Conroe.
“Covid-19 hit us, but we never stopped planning. Thank you to our local, County and State Officials for helping us get this off the ground. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be here today,” said Friends of Conroe President Stephen Naleway.
Naleway talked about the safety measures put in place at the Festival, which will include plenty of extra sanitation stations set up everywhere.
“We’ve always had those set up, but we’re going to probably have three to four times as many that we’ve had in the past,” said Naleway. “Masks are optional; masks are needed only if you can’t social distance. If you don’t have a mask, we have some masks for you. We have the throw-away masks. If you want to buy a souvenir mask with the logo on it, we’ll have those for sale as well. If you are riding the shuttle bus, you will need a mask to get on the bus, both to and from the festival.”
Naleway said extra sanitation they’re doing includes sanitizing the toilets every 15 minutes, as well as tables and chairs.
“It’s medical grade stuff; it’s not chemicals where it’s going to harm anybody. We have professionals taking care of that,” said Naleway.
Naleway talked about the great entertainment lineup for the Festival.
“This year we have Aaron Watson headlining, with Wade Bowen following and then Roger Creager following Wade,” said Naleway. “The Cajun Stage will be bumping this year with Geno Delafose, Zydeco Dots, Bayou Roux, and a Conroe crowd pleasure is Wayne Toups. He’s back finally after about three years because of scheduling conflicts. We got him back.”
Naleway said on Friday, October 9, a cover band called Bag of Donuts will be performing.
“They’re awesome and have records crowds; wherever they go, they sell out. It’s a good show, and these guys are from New Orleans, so expect a good time with them on the stage,” said Naleway.
Naleway said you can expect a lot of great food again this year, including catfish, which every vendor, besides their lemonade vendor, will have available. Other food includes boudin, crawfish pie, jambalaya, corndogs, twinkies, oreos, turkey legs, fries and ribbon fries.
Naleway said the festival officially kicks off at six p.m. Thursday, October 8, with the carnival.
“The carnival entry is free. You have to pay to ride the rides, but it’s only $20 for an armband for the night,” said Naleway. “This is to give back to the community so they can come out and have a good time when it’s less crowded for everybody. Then on Friday, October 9, we kick the doors open at six p.m., and the festival will be open from six to midnight. On Saturday, we’ll be open from eleven a.m. to midnight, and then on Sunday, we’ll be open from noon to six.”
Naleway said the entry to the carnival is free all weekend; it’s a separate entrance from the festival.
“We expect the kids and the families to come out during the day and have fun at the carnival, and we’re not charging them to get in the gate,” said Naleway. “If they want to see the music, they’ll have to pay to get into the festival. The carnival will be entry free, with armbands $25 to ride all you want. We have the best carnival guys in the world. They’re coming from another event that was huge for them, given everything that’s been going on. They’re practicing social distancing and will keep everything clean for us.”
Tickets to get into the festival, which you can get online, are $15.
“We encourage everybody to buy tickets online in advance. This is one of our protocols to keep the social distancing, and it protects our volunteers and everybody from handling money or credit cards,” said Naleway. “If you don’t have online access, you can get tickets at the gate.”
To get tickets online to the Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival, go to:
Naleway said that if you’re going to be riding the shuttle to the festival, there will be signs at the shuttle pickup, where you can actually buy your tickets right there from your phone. Naleway said there will also be signs from the pickup location all the way to the festival gates. The shuttle to the festival is located underneath I-45 at FM 2854, next to the Montgomery County Library.