Lafayette, Do You Remember Blarney Blast?
In Lafayette Louisiana in the heart of Louisiana's Cajun Country there is one day when more than a few of us will declare ourselves "Irish enough" to raise a glass and sing a song in honor of St Patrick. In Lafayette these days we all get a little Irish at Patty in the Parc. It's a great night of music, dancing, eating, drinking, telling jokes, and acting in such a way that we might be considered Irish if only in spirit.
The lineup for Patty 2023 includes Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin' Cajuns, Rouge Krewe, and the Ying Yang Twins. In between sets DJ Digital will provide the soundtrack for what will likely include a large number of free giveaways. Patty in the Parc is on St Patrick's Day March 17th at Parc International.
If my memory serves me correctly this is Patty in the Parc's 10th year. The event came into being after Lafayette's "original" St Patrick's Day celebration Blarney Blast came to a close.
If you don't remember Blarney Blast it was a promotional event that was hosted by Bennigan's Restaurant. Bennigan's was located at the corner of Johnston and Ambassador Caffery. That was before the Lafayette location was closed. Many of the chain's locations have closed over the years. But, as far as where Bennigan's was in Lafayette, I believe the Tokyo Steakhouse now occupies that piece of ground.
But back in the day on St Patrick's Day and the weekend surrounding it, that piece of ground and a lot of the surrounding area was covered in a large circus-like tent. Inside that tent was a stage, a few bars, some parking lot curbs that would make you fall, and what seemed like 5,000 of your closest friends.
As I was searching for details on Lafayette's Blarney Blast I did come across a few videos that were taken on the scene. The restaurant featured live entertainment inside the restaurant and there were live bands that played under the tent. I do remember that Bag of Donuts played more than a few Blarney Blasts.
If I recall the Andy Smith Band was a mainstay of Blarney Blast too. Oh and let's not forget the Chee Weez, they made a stop or two under the big top for Blarney Blast as well.
Now, Blarney Blast wasn't all about music. It was a serious drinking event as well. If I recall the "shot girls" made excellent money over the Blarney Blast weekend and the other bartenders were tipped very well too.
In addition to the music Blarney Blast always had an ancillary contest or two surrounding it. I remember the Lafayette Bennigan's hosted Putt for the Green with Budweiser. It was basically a putting tournament that got more and more interesting the more and more people supported the sponsor.
If you have a Blarney Blast memory or maybe a scar on your knee where you tripped over a curb inside the tent, tell us about it. We do hope we'll see you this St Patrick's Day for Patty in the Parc 2023.