The festival is one of Lafayette's biggest free parties, second only to Festival International de Louisiane. Top Cajun, Creole and zydeco musicians play on three stages, surrounded by delicious cuisine from the Bayou Food Festival and awe-inspiring art at the Louisiana Craft Fair.
The festival's main goal, one that Daigrepont is a large promoter— is to pass the French Creole and Acadian culture to the next generation. Among Daigrepont's songs is the Marksville Two Step, written for his love of time spent in Marksville with grandparents.
Bruce Daigrepont grew up in New Orleans and had little interest in Cajun music until 1977. That's when he saw Marc Boudreaux, a young man near his age, sit in with Octa Clark, Hector Duhon and the Dixie Club Ramblers at Festivals Acadiens.
Daigrepont's parents were French-speaking Cajuns from Marksville. After the family moved to New Orleans, his mother spoke French in the city, when it wasn't cool to do so. Bruce's father bought him a guitar when he was 5.
Daigrepont had absorbed it all and by 1980, he was a star, introducing Cajun music to New Orleans and drawing big crowds to the Maple Leaf Bar and Mulattes. For more than 20 years, he's hosted a Sunday afternoon fais do-do at Tipitina's.
Legendary Cajun fiddler Dewey Balfa, who was killed in car wreck in Bunkie, put it best when he said, "My culture is not better than anyone else's culture. My people were no better than anyone else. And yet I will not accept it as a second-class culture. It's the best culture for me. Now, I would expect, if you have a different culture, that you would feel the same about yours as I feel about mine."
The festival starts tonight through the weekend.