These Mesmerizing Colorized Photos of the 1938 Crowley Rice Festival Will Take You Back in Time
As we approach Rice Festival weekend in Crowley, let's take a trip back in time courtesy of some really slick photo editing and colorization.
Craig Zimmerman is one of the most popular contributors to the Lafayette Memories Facebook group. The group boasts over 30,000 members and whether it be through newspaper clippings, photos, or old stories, the amazing history of Lafayette and Acadiana is told by individuals who play the role of local historians for our area.
Zimmerman decided to make a special album of photos from the 1938 Rice Festival that were taken by photographer Russell Lee.
Zimmerman voluntarily colorized the photos last year and shared them in a separate album as many locals are looking forward to this weekend's 85th International Rice Festival.
Last year, I colorized around 200 of the photos taken by photographer Russell Lee in the Acadiana area in 1938. That album can be found in the group archive under the Media tab. Over 20 of these are of photos taken at the Rice Festival, so I pulled these out and put them in a separate album.
According to Wikipedia, the International Rice Festival is Louisiana's oldest agricultural festival and one of the largest festivals in the state. The first festival was held on October 5, 1937.
This means that Zimmerman's colorized photos were basically a snapshot of the first Rice Festival celebrations in Crowley, and it's really fascinating to see how the city and the celebrations have evolved.
One of the most interesting photos is a picture of a family who seems to be standing on some type of stage or grandstand.
According to a newspaper clipping from the Abbeville Meridional, the largest family at the festival would be honored with a year's supply of rice.
The Broussard family of Youngsville (pictured above) was awarded the year's supply of rice as Mr. and Mrs. Joe Broussard are seen standing proudly with their 17 children—the youngest being their one-month-old son and the oldest being their 20-year-old daughter.
All of the photos are really fascinating and have been shared hundreds of times by those who are appreciative of the nostalgic boost that Zimmerman's colorization brought to the images.
Check out all of the colorized photos below and enjoy this blast from the past, as Zimmerman's work brings these photos to life and almost makes you feel like you were there in 1938.