This Saturday in the Cotton District, locals and visitors alike are in for a tastebud treat straight from Southwestern Louisiana! We are getting geared up for the King Cotton Crawfish Boil to be held April 26 from 11:00am to 2:00pm on Maxwell Street and Page Avenue in the heart of Downtown Starkville. The first community event of its kind in Starkville, the Crawfish Boil is sponsored by the Starkville Main Street Association as a fundraiser to support its efforts to develop and revitalize Downtown Starkville districts.
This year’s crawfish will be provided by The Little Dooey, a Starkville restaurant favorite. Bart Wood, owner of The Little Dooey, told us that Spring is prime season for the best crawfish, so the spicy fare will not disappoint this weekend! The Little Dooey cooks thousands of pounds of crawfish each year, but according to Wood, “the best quality crawfish are only available for a short time period, which makes a Spring ideal for crawfish boil events.”
“I’ve been boiling crawfish since my college days in the mid 1980s,” said Wood. “I’ve always preferred the Acadia parishes tradition over what you find in New Orleans for cooking crawfish. We use less salt and higher grade of seasonings, blended to our own tastes. Our customers tell us they love the tastes authentic to what you would find across the southwestern Louisiana basin.”
The Little Dooey sources crawfish from the Acadia, Evangeline, Allen and Lafayette parishes in Louisiana, with vendors chosen on a 12-point quality scale — freshness being the top selection point. Saturday’s 5-pound crawfish buckets will feature the Dooey’s signature seasonings along with corn and potatoes.
Jennifer Gregory, CEO of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership told us the Starkville Main Street board felt a crawfish boil would be an excellent opportunity to create a unique event while also raising money for Downtown efforts.
“This is the first crawfish boil we’ve sponsored, and we hope it will turn into a regular event,” Gregory said. “Events that bring people together to enjoy some of our central districts for shopping, dining and gathering really contribute to the quality of life we’ve built in the Starkville community.”
With a home baseball series, Starkville Main Street also hopes to attract many of our out-of-town visitors before Saturday’s ballgame against Texas A&M.
According to Gregory, “Thriving Downtowns across America are critical to the success and life of any community. Downtown Starkville is the core of our community and tells us who we are and who we were, and how the past has shaped us. Our Downtown continues to be a place of shared memory where people still come together to live, work, and play. Cities and towns across the nation have come to see that a prosperous, sustainable community is only as healthy as its core.”
Starkville Main Street hopes to further its work on behalf of the Downtown core of Starkville using the proceeds from the Crawfish Boil. A few of Main Street’s immediate goals include:
- Supporting Art in Public Places with community murals throughout the Downtown District
- Promoting the Starkville Community Market and identifying a future location for expansion
- Lobbying for curb extensions, street lights, landscaping, and crosswalks throughout the Downtown District where they are not currently located, focused on consistent design
- Bringing attention to existing large crosswalk areas with possible asphalt stamping, brick overlay, or painting
- Refreshing banners on Main Street and Russell Street and exploring new options for banners in the Cotton District
- Ensuring landscaping on Russell Street is a priority after bike paths, sidewalks, and on-street parking are added
- Installing Phase II & III of Wayfinding Signage from gateways to the community to and throughout the Downtown District
- Properly signing public parking lots throughout Downtown Starkville and working with the City to improve the quality of those lots
Tickets for Saturday’s King Cotton Crawfish Boil are available for purchase online or at the Greater Starkville Development Partnership office. Adult tickets are $30 each and children under 12 will be admitted free. Adult tickets include a 5-pound bucket of crawfish and sides, plus unlimited beer and beverages. In addition, StaggerIn Grill, Sweet Peppers Deli and Bin 612 will have booths with selected items for sale for kids and adults.