Students look forward to annual Swamp Stomp festival

Alumni and students across Nicholls State University look forward to the annual local heritage festival, Swamp Stomp.

The seventh annual Louisiana Swamp Stomp festival begins tomorrow. The three-day festival features musicians and artists that pride the culture of southern Louisiana. South Louisiana foods, history, economic development and culture are unique areas the festival will display.

Swamp Stomp has grown interest amongst students who have attended Nicholls in the previous years. From the diversity of Louisiana foods to the showcase of cultural music, many students find the festival very educational.

Chris Johnson, Nicholls alumnus, recalls going to Swamp Stomp during his undergraduate years. Before attending a few festivals, Johnson didn’t realize how much southern Louisiana had to offer.
“The one thing I enjoy about attending the fest each year is the great food and the cultural aspect of the festival,” Johnson said. “Before attending the fest for the first time a few years back, I wasn’t aware of the cultural art and talent offered around here.”

The festival promotes art and music, especially in the Bayou region. Swamp Stomp offers an opportunity for Louisiana artist to promote their talents. Zydeco and Cajun music are are featured in the festival.

Sterling Bailey, a senior sociology major of Ruston, La., enjoys learning about the Cajun culture, specifically Cajun music.

“I’ve heard Zydeco and Cajun music before relocating down here from northern Louisiana, but it’s a difference feel when seeing a live band performing the music,” Bailey said. “It’s more than playing accordion and guitar, it’s also the language of a proud Cajun heritage.”

The mission of the festival is to educate local, regional and out-of-state guests about the unique traditions. With the involvement of Nicholls, Swamp Stomp also aids in helping the University’s overall mission to serve educational needs to south Louisiana.

“I think many folks get a chance to really understand the tradition of the culture,” Bailey said. “For example, when a band plays and you see a group Cajun step-dancing and singing a song in French, that’s tradition ‘down the bayou’ and it’s fun to be apart of.”

The Swamp Stomp Festival is now a meaningful festival that shines light on the beauty of south Louisiana culture.

The Southeast Tourism Society has named the Louisiana Swamp Stomp Festival among its “Top 20 Events in the Southeast” for Mar. 2015. The festival will cost $10 a day, or $25 for a weekend pass. There will be no charge for the carnival side of the festival. Children 12 and under and also Nicholls students get in for free. Treater will be the first band to grace the stage Friday, staring at 4:30 p.m. Also on Friday, Tresors du Bayou (Treasures of the Bayou) will take place. Other activities of the festival include the Jumbo Gumbo Cook-Off, 5K Can-Can race and the 1-Mile White Boot Waddle.