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Crawfish cookoff enters its fifth year

Live music, family fun and heaps of crawfish will soon fill the Tickfaw Festival Grounds during the fifth annual Riff Ridgel Crawfish Cookoff.

The event will begin at 11 a.m. May 18 at the festival grounds on U.S. Highway 51 in Tickfaw.

Since 2015, the cookoff has donated over $60,000 to its beneficiaries. The Riff Ridgel Crawfish Cookoff benefit was established in Riff's name and is dedicated to providing support to families and individuals in the local community whose lives have been impacted by a catastrophic accident or illness. Proceeds this year will go to Riff Ridgel and Norma Morgan Strate.

The cookoff will feature music performances by The Johnny Sansone Band and Zydeco Mike with a special guest performance by Jo-El Sonnier.

The Kid's Tent will provide free food, yard games, art projects and Las Vegas magician Billy Ferguson.

Advance tickets can be found at www.riffridgelcrawfishcookoff.com. Tickets will go on sale at Tickfaw Town Hall, University Donuts and from board members on March 29. Admission will be free for children 11 years old and younger.

Slots are still available for boiling teams. Interested teams are encouraged to register soon as the slots fill up fast, said a spokesperson for the cookoff. The entry form can be found and submitted, along with entry fee, at www.riffridgelcrawfishcookoff.com.

Last year's first place team was the Fraternal Order of Police. Second place went to Crustacean Station, while Roger's Towing took third. The People's Choice team was Clearwater Utilities.

In 2018, the crawfish cookoff raised over $18,000 for local families in need. The spokesperson said more needs to be done to help families in the area and encouraged people to step out, help out and eat crawfish.