Michael Arnone’s annual Crawfish Fest, known as the largest Louisiana and New Orleans-style music and food festival in the Northeast, comes to the Sussex County Fairgrounds. Friday, May 31, June 1 and 2.

         For the first time, Arnone will present a Food and Trade Expo of Louisiana products and manufacturers with food sampling opportunities as a part of the festival.  

        This year’s Crawfish Fest features 24 Bands on 4 stages. Three-time Grammy winning artist, Aaron Neville headlines this year’s impressive lineup. Neville, who holds four platinum certified records, will be touring behind the strength of his newest album, released in January, My True Story. Charles Neville will be featured in Aaron Neville’s Quintet. This year’s Saturday night headliner is the Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars, including a special treat for folks outside of New Orleans, Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief Monk Boudreaux in full feather costume. Much like in 2011 when the Radiators played Crawfish Fest on their farewell tour, New Orleans funk stalwarts, Papa Grows Funk, will make this year’s Crawfish Fest one of their last stops in their illustrious 13-year career before they take a long break after CFF.

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     R&B and Blues fans will have a full plate with artists Tab Benoit, Mia Borders, Joe Krown Trio with Walter Wolfman “Washington” and Russell Batiste, Davell Crawford and three sets from Johnny Sansone. Rock-n-roller Cowboy Mouth is back.  eadlining the Jager Pavilion on Sunday is the electrifying Anders Osborne. Two great acts making their Crawfish Fest debut are swing bands Gas House Gorillas and Davina and the Vagabonds. Funk kings Big Sam’s Funky Nation return to Crawfish Fest this year as does the funky R&B review, Brother Josephus and the Love Revolution. The Alexis P. Suter-Gospel Band will open the Main Stage on Sunday morning with a Gospel Set that will “take you to church”. Following free beginner Cajun dance lessons at 11:00 am each day in the News 12 NJ Dance Hall is a full slate of dynamic Cajun and Zydeco acts like Rosie Ledet, Wayne Singleton and the Same ‘Ol Two Step, Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys and Jesse Lege and Bayou Brew. The Soul Rebels Brass Band take charge of this year’s brass band slot.

     A special treat for our campers and King Crawfish Krewe ticket holders are eight sets of music on Friday and Saturday nights, led by Cyril Neville and Devon Allman in the acclaimed Royal Southern Brotherhood, Los Angeles funk band Orgone, Eden Brent and the recently formed band by  Radiators guitarist Camile Baudoin & Living Rumors. After the wild success of last year’s musician workshops on the Kids Stage, Anders Osborne, John Gros, Johnny Sansone and Wayne Singleton will hold music workshops. This incredible lineup makes this year’s fest into a “can’t miss” event.

         Enjoy the best food that New Orleans has to offer. The Menu includes boiled crawfish with corn and potatoes, chicken and sausage Jambalaya, Shrimp Creole, Crawfish Etouffee, Crawfish Bread, Red Beans with rice and Po-Boys (oyster, catfish or shrimp). Also on the menu is Tasso (Cajun Spiced Ham) Quesadilla, Boudin Link, New Orleans Style Spicy Fried Chicken, Char-Grilled Oysters, Grilled Alligator Sausage, Pasta with Shrimp and Crawfish tail meat in cream sauce and fried Boudin balls. The menu for those, who prefer a more traditional menu includes grilled Portabella mushroom sandwich on a wheat bun, vegetarian Red Beans and Rice, burgers, hot dogs, pulled pork on a roll and Eggplant Napoleon with a Shrimp Sauce. Save room for ice cream, fruit cups, sno-balls, Beignets, cakes and pies. All dishes are $10.00 or less.                 

     Michael Arnone’s 24th Annual Crawfish Fest is being held at the Sussex County Fairgrounds, in Augusta, NJ on May 31, June 1 and 2. For more info or to purchase Single, Saturday/Sunday combo or 3 day Camping Tickets, visit www.crawfishfest.com. You will also find links to the Crawfish Fest iPhone and Droid Apps.  

Event sponsors include Bud Light, News 12 New Jersey, Jägermeister, American Harvest Organic Spirit, www.CajunCountry.org, WFDU-FM, WNTI-FM, Crystal Hot Sauce, DonQ Rum, Black Beard Spiced Rum, Holiday Inn, State Shuttle Inc., 84RV.com, and Suburban Camping Company.