Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Texas Crawfish Racing

It's a love affair dating back to the early 1960s, when A.J. Judice Jr., the Crazy Frenchman, first introduced Louisiana-raised crawfish at his store in Port Arthur, TX. 
Judice understood the importance of advertising, and his flamboyant personality served him well.
In 1963, as a way to promote his business, he began the beloved tradition of crawfish racing to Texas. Few would argue that Judice was the godfather of crawfish in Texas, and he was later appointed a Texas Crawfish Racing Commissioner by the state's governor.
It would take over a year for the crawfish craze to spread from Port Arthur to Houston. 1976 is the year that the Bayou City first fell in love with the little guys. The big oil boom had brought a surge of workers from Louisiana, and with them came a passion for seafood boils.
Pictured here is Jim Braud, the Texas crawfish racing commissioner from Port Neches, watching the crawfish race at the Texas Folklife Festival. 
The crawfish are racing on a square white surface with red and blue concentric circles. A crowd is gathered around to watch from behind barriers. 

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