Festival International is only a few days away and Lafayette is pumped. What's not to love about having one of the world's largest festivals in your town? The weather is perfect, the food is amazing, the music is awesome, and it's all free. But above all the other cultural activity going on, one of the greatest activities festival has to offer is the top-notch, grade A people watching. Festival brings together such an eclectic blend of cultures and unique individuals that you are treated to sights that occur nowhere else on the planet. Although simply walking around and paying attention will open you up to a world of interesting happenings, I'll let you in on a few of my favorite sights. The things I look for to let me know Festival International is truly here. Here are 3 signs it's festival season.

1. Clash of the Hippies

For those unfamiliar with hippie culture, there exists within the realm of hippiedom two distinct divisions of hippie. There is the 20 something flower strewn sorority girl; wearing vintage clothing and a smartly cocked fedora as she speaks endlessly about various music festivals she's been to and how much she hates the "real world" (though she is usually completely oblivious to the irony created by the $300 Ray Ban sunglasses and is wearing). In her mind she's hardcore. Then there's the other kind of hippie. The "what's that smell" dread-locked doesn't believe in showers showed up in my van kind of hippie. The genuine article.

One of my favorite signs of festival time is seeing the two worlds of hippie collide. The clash of the hippie. It's like one of those reality shows where tough middle school kids are brought to prisons to see what tough is really like.

The real hippies will approach the hipster sorority hippies and try to engage them in normal hippie activity. It usually ends in horrified faces and disgusted gags.

Be on the look our for hippie clashes during festival season. I know I will.

2. Unamused Elderly Cajun Dancers

On just about every dance floor that emerges in front of the many festival stages you'll find one of my absolute favorite festival sights in the world; the unamused elderly dancing couple. These sun screen caked, fanny pack wearing dancers combine two things that usually aren't associated: dancing, and appearing to be completely miserable.

They came here to dance, and they will dance regardless of what music is playing, or who might happen to be in their way. Rock, Cajun, funk, blues, folk, doesn't matter. The elderly dancing couple maintains the same moves regardless. They move in unison spinning across the dance floor with enough centripetal force to take out pretty much anyone that might happen to wander into their path.

Their moves = flawless
Their faces = expressionless

They break only for a moment between songs to take a sip out of the water bottle they brought, or to munch on the ham sandwiches they have in zip lock bags.

They soldier on song after song long after more youthful, but less experienced couples get tired. Never stopping, never smiling, never clapping, never speaking to each other.

3. The Hustling Native Americans On Vermilion and Jefferson

Anyone who knows festival knows the Native Americans on Vermilion and Jefferson. These guys have gained rock star status in Lafayette by rocking out on their flutes during festival since the beginning of time. Aside from their soothing and hypnotic melodies and their impressive musicianship, the one thing that sticks out to you about these guys is their ability to make sales WHILE PLAYING. The level of hustle is incredible.

Hendrix and Clapton are legends, but have they ever had to run a store while simultaneously playing a 10 hour concert? I think not. CDs sold during 20 minute bongo solos, change given during flute harmonies, these guys do it all and never miss a beat.

Year after year these fan favorites mesmerize crowds and are an absolute must see for any first timer.


Did you like the 3 Signs That It Is Festival Season? What are your favorite sights during festival? Let us know in the comment section and be sure to "Like" this article to get your friends ready for Festival International.

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