The Crawfish Festival and Clambake is returning to Clinton Square this weekend. More than 5,000 people are expected to attend the event that is held to raise money for a worthy cause. The event was created by Operation Northern Comfort. Operation Northern Comfort originally began as Operation Southern Comfort in 2006 and was created to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. They changed their name and refocused their interest to help those in the local Central New York community in 2012.
CEO of Northern Comfort Norm Andrezejewski says there will be a lot of food with 3,500 pounds of crawfish. There will also be live music throughout the day from 11am to 7pm. The event will also feature craft vendors, kids games and more.
This year, Operation Northern Comfort is working with In My Father’s Kitchen and with proceeds will be going to the local organization. Founder of In My Father’s Kitchen, John Tumino says they were approached last year by Operation Northern Comfort to run their Cajun Cafe stand at the festival. In exchange for this, they would be the beneficiaries of the festival. Tumino is traditionally an Italian chef but knew cajun chef Steve Joules so he flew him and his wife up for this weekend. Joules says that it has come full circle because Tumino came to Oklahoma City when they were in a time of need. He says it is their turn to come back and do something for them. At their stand, you can expect jambalaya, gumbo and red beans and rice.
Quilter Stephanie McCall’s friends who are volunteers for Operation Northern Comfort asked her to put together a special quilt. This quilt will be raffled off at the event.
In My Father’s Kitchen provides aid to refugees in the Syracuse area. With the proceeds from the event, Tumino says they are planning on purchasing a mobile van. It will be a mobile office for them and will contain their supplies, like socks. It also can be used if they have a doctor driving around with them so they can provide services in private to people who need help rather than on the side of the street.
There will be other activities for people of all ages happening this weekend as well, even if you do not plan on eating. A frequent visitor of the Crawfish Festival is C’est Bon, who have played every Festival to date, and will returning again this year. The mascot dance contest will also be returning this year.
The 10th Annual Crawfish Festival and Clambake will be happening this Saturday from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm in Clinton Square.