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Crawfish Fest brings New Orleans Music and Food to New Jersey

Aaron Neville headlines the impressive lineup at this year's Crawfish Fest which also includes 24 bands performing on four stages. Neville holds four platinum certified records and weill be touring behind the strength of his newest album, My True Story. Credits: Press photo

         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 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,, WFDU-FM, WNTI-FM, Crystal Hot Sauce, DonQ Rum, Black Beard Spiced Rum, Holiday Inn, State Shuttle Inc.,, and Suburban Camping Company.

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Sparta Police: Blocked Plate Ends with Drug Charges

April 16, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – A Phillipsburg man pulled over for a traffic stop, ended up facing drug charges on April 11.  Around 7:55 p.m. on Route 15 Sparta Police Officer Steven Guido stopped a silver Saturn Ion for having an obstructed license plate, police report.

Charles Williams, 29, was driving with two passengers in the car.  When speaking with Williams, Guido smelled marijuana in the ...

Sparta Police: Running a Red Light ends with Drug Charges

SPARTA, NJ – A man stopped for driving through a red light on Route 15 wound up facing drug charges.  On March 30 Sparta Police Officer Thomas Herd pulled over Steven Lassends, 27in a black Infinity, on Route 15, police say.

When the officer spoke with the Montague resident, Herd smelled raw marijuana.  Herd, with the assistance of Sgt. Pensado, Cpl. Antonello and Police ...

Sparta Police: Traffic Stop Ends in Pot Arrest

SPARTA, NJ – A man from Ogdensburg is facing pot charges after a traffic stop on April 4 around 11 p.m. Police Office Thomas Herd pulled over a green Honda driven by John Malone, 23 for failing to move to the right lane, police report.

Herd smelled marijuana when speaking with Malone.  Malone admitted there was a “small marijuana roach” left in his car by a friend.

The Issue of Alternatives to Elected School Boards

April 14, 2018

The time of electing local school boards should come to an end. According to the National School Boards Association, “the local school board is a critical public link to public schools. Whether elected or appointed, school board members serve their communities in several important ways. First and foremost, school boards look out for students. Education is not a line item on the school ...

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Newton Council Candidates Call for Elections to be Moved

April 12, 2018

NEWTON, NJ – Four candidates for the Town of Newton Council have the same idea; move the election for council members to the November general elections.  Candidates Matt Dickson and Jason Schlaffer and Ludmilla Mecaj and Wayne Levante just do not agree on how to make that happen.

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Six 11th Congressional District Candidates Attend 'Town Hall Project Morristown' to Answer Questions on Gun Control

April 9, 2018

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Home Buying Myths Slayed

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The average down payment for first-time homebuyers is only 6%!

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Over the course of 2018, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates increased from 3.95% in the first week of January to 4.40% in the first week of April.

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Ever watched “Trading Spaces” and wondered, “How do they pull together a beautiful room so quickly?”  Team Nest Builder knows! Read on for these 6 simple decorating tricks from the newly relaunched “Trading Spaces” stars.  You’ll be amazed at what a difference they make in your New Jersey home!

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Clean Your Closet and Help Sussex County Children By Donating Shoes

You know those shoes in the back of your closet that scream.”I grew up watching “Friends”’? Team Nest Builder wants to help YOU get rid of them while doing good for Sussex County children, through the Sojihuggles Children’s Foundation.

Now through May 15th, donate your gently worn, used or new shoes to help underprivileged children in Sussex County while ...

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Free Family Expo Offers Resources and Fun Activities

April 20, 2018

Northern New Jersey parents and children are invited to Project Self-Sufficiency’s annual Family Expo, Thursday, April 26th, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.  Workshops for parents will be supplemented by children’s activities, dinner, gift card raffles and other events.  The Family Expo is sponsored by the Sussex County Family Success Center at Project Self-Sufficiency and Project ...