On Memorial Day weekend, CenterPoint Energy was the title sponsor for the annual Mudbug Madness festival in Shreveport, La., welcoming more than 56,000 people on each day of the four-day affair. Eric Barkley, district director, addressed the crowd at the opening ceremonies, while many other Louisiana-area employees were involved in every aspect of the festival, from financial and on-site support to volunteer recruitment. Ronn Washington, dispatcher (pictured right), helped kids “crawfish for prizes” at the CenterPoint Energy booth. 2010 marks the 12th year CenterPoint Energy has sponsored the popular event.
Mudbug Madness, which highlights the locals’ love for crawfish, has grown into one of the state’s largest Cajun festivals. Event organizers estimate that about 100,000 pounds of crawfish were consumed as patrons enjoyed Cajun and zydeco music. Mudbug Madness has an economic impact on the northwest region of Louisiana of between $5 million and $9 million.
At this year’s event, cable television station A&E filmed scenes for “Billy the Exterminator,” a show following a zany family, as the title character participated in the VIP crawfish eating contest. Ken Gilliard, engineer, also participated in the VIP crawfish eating contest, competing to see who could peel and eat the most mudbugs in 15 minutes.