French Market Grille West owner and festival organizer Jim Beck says this year’s Mudbugabeaux will offer 2,500 pounds of crawfish (up from 1,800 in 2012), along with jambalaya, boiled shrimp and hot dogs for the kids. Also on the menu are muffalettas – New Orleans-style sandwiches filled with swiss, provolone, ham and an olive dressing.
To help wash it all down, about 15 craft beers will be offered from brewers such as Goose Island, Atlanta’s Red Hare and Fat Tire. A lemonade stand and shaved ice – along with misters and tents – will also be on site to help beat the expected heat.
Open from 3 to 9 p.m. at Augusta Common, the festival will feature music from Old Man Crazy, Tom Brown and others, along with children’s activities. Admission is $5 and the first 1,000 attendees will receive a T-shirt.
A highlight of the Mudbugabeaux is the annual crawfish-eating contest, in which contestants peel and eat three pounds of crawfish in as short a time as possible. The event can get hectic, says Beck, but the technique is simple: “Just tear the tail away from the body … bite down on the end and pull on the tail … Stay steady and get through it.”
The Mudbugabeaux, which Beck patterned after other crawfish festivals that happen in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi, is a great way for Augustans to get a taste for the Cajun and Creole food available in that area of the country. “We’re right in the middle of (crawfish) season right now,” said Beck. “Come have some crawfish and have a good time.”