Those of you who know me or follow this blog regularly know I love fish biscuits. Well, if I don’t have fish, I can tell you what I like second best on my biscuit: Mayhaw jelly. So you know I’m excited about living so close to the Mayhaw Festival in Marion, La. The 32nd annual festival is scheduled for May 10 & 11th, 2013. Make plans to come and join the fun. The event is sponsored by the Marion Fire Department.
Friday night kicks off the festival with a street dance in the parking lot of Marion State Bank. Bring lawn chairs and dancing shoes to join in the fun! If you’re not one for dancing, don’t worry, thee is plenty of food available. George Rowton and the Outlaws will be there 8 pm-11pm! Saturday’s festivities begin with a parade. Four wheelers, horses, floats, golf carts are all welcome. Bring the kids early to catch all the action with fire trucks, police cars, the Barak Shriners in their mini cars, local businesses tossing candy from floats, and the Mayhaw Pageant queens and contestants throwing prizes. Activities for all ages are happening all day Saturday — a turkey calling contests, horseshoe tournament, mayhaw spitting contest, egg toss, mayhaw jelly cooking contests. treasure hunt, and talent show are just a handful of the activities you can participate in. You do not want to miss the lawnmower races where high performance lawn mowers are pitted against each other for top prizes and, of course, bragging rights! There will be arts and crafts and did I mention food — bar-b-que, fried fish, chicken on a stick, sno-cones, crawfish, and funnel cakes to name a few dishes. This year is also the 1st Annual Mayhaw Poker Run . For more information look on http://www.townofmarionla.com/Mayhaw_Festival.html
If you are an unfortunate soul whose upbringing didn’t allow you to know what a mayhaw is, here’s a quick explanation: The mayhaw tree is in the Hawthorne family, a distant cousin of the rose. It grows near streams and swamplands bearing fruit that looks like small crabapples. The mayhaw is found in the Southern United States from East Texas to the panhandle of Florida. The heaviest concentrations of native mayhaw trees are found in Grant Parish, Louisiana, near Winnie, Texas and in the Pearl River swamps of Mississippi. The mild difficulty of harvesting wild mayhaw fruit (a boat is handy) is more than made up for by the distinct flavor of the jams, jellies, wines, and cakes derived from this unassuming southern delight. And yes, we’ve got plenty of them around the river basins in Union Parish. One taste and you’ll understand why we devote an entire festival to this fruit!