By: Deanna Rebro | Category: Other | Issue: May 2012
Cajun Ed is proud to support Phoenix, a Therapetics service dog, during the 12th annual Crawfest.
It’s party time on May 19, when Cajun Ed’s Hebert’s Specialty Meats hosts its 12th annual Crawfest.
Owner Ed Richard, a Louisiana native who knows how to combine good food and a good party, invites everyone to join the fun at the big red house at 2101 E. 71st St. This celebration of crawfish harvest, a longtime Louisiana tradition, features authentic Cajun food like no other in Tulsa.
Menu items include boiled crawfish, crawfish etouffee, crawfish boudin, crawfish tamales, crawfish tacos, red beans and rice, smoked sausage sandwiches, corn maque choux, shrimp kabobs and bread pudding. More than a ton and a half of crawfish, shipped from Louisiana, will be boiled, fried or sold raw during the festival.
Cajun Ed is once again happy to donate a portion of the festival’s food and beverage proceeds to Therapetics Service Dogs of Oklahoma. This Tulsa-based nonprofit organization trains dogs to serve Oklahomans with disabilities that limit their mobility. Among many other things, the dogs learn to open and close doors, pull a wheelchair, turn lights on and off, and transfer laundry from washer to dryer.
According to Susan Hartman, executive director of Therapetics, it costs approximately $15,000 to train each dog for as long as two years so it can provide eight to ten years of service to an individual. Therapetics offers the dogs without charge to qualified applicants. “The number of dogs that we can train and place every year is solely dependent on our budget,” she explains.
Therapetics, now in its twentieth year, is placing eight to ten dogs per year. Last year’s graduating class was the largest ever, with 12 “graduates.” There are 23 currently in training. Cajun Ed’s goal is to raise $15,000 to support one dog’s entire training.
Many of the dogs will be on hand to meet and greet everyone. Kristina Kendall, a Therapetics volunteer trainer, will have Phoenix, a three-year-old breeder for the program. Phoenix will be bred in August. But another dog, Vicki, should have five new yellow lab puppies to introduce – at least by photos – at the festival.
Volunteers will also introduce three German Shepherd puppies who will be trained specifically for service to war vets. “We are very blessed to have a wonderful community with business owners like Cajun Ed who support our work so that our clients are not charged for the dog they need,” says Susan.
Crawfest offers a big fat happy event that the whole family can enjoy. Rain or shine, Cajun Ed’s Hebert’s Specialty Meats parking lot will be covered with a giant tent that will encompass a Jupiter Jump, face painting and crawfish races for the kids. The crawfish eating contest is sure to draw lots of video cameras to capture the laughter, applause and embarrassment for some of the participants.
Those who cannot attend the festival can still get crawfish to go, ready to eat or to boil at home with all the authentic mixes such as Louisiana Fish Fry Products, Swamp Dust, Zatarain’s and Ball’s Cajun Seasoning. Shipments of fresh crawfish arrive from Louisiana every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. “People can get them live, boiled or cooked. Any way they want them, we’ll have them,” says Cajun Ed.
The 12th annual Crawfest gets under way at 11 a.m. and ends at 7 p.m. Enjoy good food, a good time and support a good cause. Live music, including the toe-tapping sounds of the Jambalaya Jazz Band, will lead the way to the big red house just west of 71st and Lewis.
On regular business days, Cajun Ed’s Hebert’s opens at 10 a.m. Lunch specials are served Monday through Friday. Café au lait, with authentic beignets, is featured from 10 to noon on Saturdays, and dinner is served Monday through Saturday.
Deanna Rebro has worked in the publishing industry 30+ years, including eight years writing for Value News. She has also worked in real estate for the past six years. Deanna graduated from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio with a B.A. in Journalism. Outside of work, she serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Pet Adoption League. “Every story I write is a learning experience,” she said.