Eric and Julen Piatt have two choices when they’re craving crawdads from their native state. "We either fly home to Louisiana or eat them here at the festival," says Julen Piatt, who moved to Camp Verde with her family in 2002.
That’s the Arizona Crawdad Festival, which will be Saturday and Sunday in Camp Verde. Piatt and her husband helped launch the event last year.
Organizers will fly in 3,250 pounds of crawdads from the swamps of Nacogdoches, La., for the event, which includes a crawdad-eating contest, a peeling contest, crawdad races and a Spam toss.
"It’s gonna be crazy," says festival coordinator Michelle Ashley.
Festivalgoers will sample jambalaya, etouffee, barbecued alligator and other staples of Cajun cuisine. There will be hamburgers and hot dogs for the less adventurous palate.
Festival What: Fresh crawdads cooked with a Cajun flair When: 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday Where: Camp Verde Community Center, 395 S. Main St. Cost: $5 per person, $15 family pass, free for children 12 and younger Information: (928) 567-0535
Take Interstate 17 north to Camp Verde.