The Pearland Crawfish Festival is coming to town April 4 – 6! Event producer Robert Fuldauer with Turn To Productions was kind enough to address some issues that residents had with last year’s festival.
Q: Parking was a big issue. Many people said that the field was full of holes and some waited up to an hour to park. How will this experience be different this year?
A: The biggest thing we’re doing is moving the festival into the center of the site so that there will be parking and entrances on both sides – which will mean less of a walk. The entrances will be on Discovery Bay Dr. to the south and Medical Center Dr. to the north. Also, Shadow Creek Ranch is bringing in one of the biggest parking companies in Houston to mange it. In any large undeveloped site such as that, there will be some uneveness, but this site is actually better than many outdoor festivals. The ground is generally solid, as the lot had been prepared previously for commercial development.
Q: The other big complaint was the lines. Many (correctly) assumed that the turn-out was greater than expected. What will be different this year to minimize the wait in various food and ride lines?
A: Our crawfish cookers, Swamp Shack Catering, are restructuring their service to move the line faster. They had tried to offer too many items at the same place and it slowed down people deciding what they wanted. Once they made their purchase, actually, there was no slowdown in picking up the crawfish. They are bringing more staff, and all they will be selling at that site is crawfish. We are bringing in twice the number of food vendors, and twice the number of carnival rides. There will be a great variety of food, as well as several people providing some of the more popular items, particularly funnel cakes. That was one of the biggest requests we had: more funnel cakes!
Q: Lack of seating was also brought up. Will more seating be available or should folks bring blankets and chairs?
A: We are bringing in more tables and chairs this year, but people are more than welcome to bring blankets or chairs.
Q: Because of the above issues, many thought the experience was too expensive – from the admission to the individual booths and rides. Are the prices changing at all this year?
A: The entry is $8, which is cheaper than any festival I can think of and a percentage of which goes to the non-profits. The parking is $5 a car, none of which goes to the festival. The parking goes to the local non-profit beneficiaries of the festival: Pearland ISD Education Foundation, The Alvin ISD Education Foundation, The Ft. Bend Education Foundation, Ft. Bend Youth Sports, and Keep Pearland Beautiful. The crawfish will be a little higher, but not more than $4.00 a pound. That is simply because of the unusual very late winter resulting in late development and low numbers of crawfish on the farms. That is affecting Cajun restaurants and wholesalers around Louisiana and Texas. We make nothing on the crawfish to keep it as cheap as posible. Overall, our prices are generally lower than other festivals. Producing a major festival is a massive undertaking, with high costs – especially one that provides a guaranteed donation to non-profits – to cover and a variety of great risks to revenue. We make every effort to provide patrons with a great experience, a fun time, great food and entertainment at a reasonable price, while being able to realize enough revenue to continue to develop and improve events the public will enjoy.
Thank you, Robert, for answering our questions! We hope this information will help residents decide to give the Festival another try!