LAFAYETTE, La. — The first Ragin’ Cajuns Weekend will combine sports, music and food for a three-day spring celebration.
The family-friendly event, which begins Friday, is intended to draw attention to University of Louisiana at Lafayette activities and traditions that will appeal to alumni, students and the public alike. A Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns vs. Southeastern Louisiana University baseball game, the annual Red vs. White spring football game and entertainment by Lafayette’s Bayou Boys are featured.
The celebration also includes some long-established activities, such as the Lagniappe Day Crawfish Boil, and some newer ones, such as a ceremony in which eligible students and alumni receive official University rings they have purchased in advance.
“It’s a gathering that we hope will grow in the years to come. It offers something for everyone,” said Jennifer LeMeunier, executive director of the UL Lafayette Alumni Association. The Association, Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics Department, and University collaborated to coordinate the events.
Here’s a rundown of Ragin’ Cajuns Weekend:
Friday, April 15
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Crawfish Boil
A Lagniappe Day Crawfish Boil at the Student Union near Boucher Street kicks off the slate of activities. It’s part of Lagniappe Week, a tradition intended to give students chances to have fun before heading into the final weeks of the spring semester. About 10,000 pounds of crawfish are usually boiled. The event is open to the public. The cost is $10 per person. Cost for UL Lafayette students, faculty and staff is $7. To purchase tickets in advance, go to https://ullafayette.sodexomyway.com/shop/c/43?Name=Dining%20Events. Students with meal plans can enjoy the seasonal mudbugs by simply showing their University ID; they do not need tickets. Tickets can also be purchased on the day of the event.
12:15 p.m. — Rock the Swamp Ceremony
An annual tradition, UL Lafayette rings will be placed into an air-tight box that is then put into a customized UL Lafayette pirogue. The pirogue stays in Cypress Lake overnight, guarded by the University’s ROTC. The rings will be presented on Sunday, April 17, to eligible students and alumni who have purchased them in advance. The Rock the Swamp ceremony is open to the public.
1 p.m. — Golf Tournament
The annual Bill “Black Jack” Landry Memorial Golf Scramble will begin with a shotgun start at Les Vieux Chenes Golf Course. Proceeds from the tournament, which is open to the public, will benefit the Bill “Black Jack” Foundation, Ragin’ Cajuns Athletic Fund and Ragin’ Cajuns football. The event is sponsored by the Gridiron Alumni Chapter.
Golfers can still register by contacting Clarence Glenn at email@example.com or (337) 319-5045.
6 p.m. — Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, ranked No. 22 in the nation, face Southeastern Louisiana University at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at 6 p.m. Individual game ticket prices are $12, $8 and $5. Baseball tickets can be purchased at the “Tigue”, or online at http://ragincajuns.com/sports/2012/7/3/Baseball%20Individual%20Game%20Tickets.aspx?id=485
Saturday, April 16
10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. — Home Run Derby
For heavy hitters, the Interfraternity Council will sponsor a home run derby for students at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field. The competition will feature a men’s and a women’s division. Batters will swing for makeshift fences erected on the field. Winners will receive donated prizes. Students may register at the field. For more information, contact Erica Schwartz at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (337) 482-6272.
Noon — RCAF Crawfish Boil
This event will benefit the Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics Foundation. RCAF provides annual financial support for UL Lafayette’s 16 intercollegiate sports. Tickets are $20 for crawfish, corn and potatoes. The event is open to the public.
Young Alumni Social
Alumni Tailgate Tent by Cajun Field
The Alumni Association will host a social for men and women who have graduated in the past 10 years. The Association will give away 50 T-shirts.
Family Zone Activities
Cajun Field, Lot A
Oak Tree Stage
From noon to 2 p.m., food and beverages may be purchased from Sodexo food stations. Fun Jumps and a fingerprinting station will be set up for kids and a DJ will provide music at the Oak Tree Stage.
1 p.m. — Tillman Book Signing
Former Ragin’ Cajun Charles “Peanut” Tillman, now a member of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, will sign copies of his new book, “The Middle School Rules of Charles ‘Peanut’ Tillman.”
2 p.m. — Spring Football Game
Football fans will get their first look at the 2016 Ragin’ Cajuns team in action. There are 10-minute quarters, with traditional scoring. Admission is free. During halftime, a Quarterback Challenge will feature many Ragin’ Cajuns greats, such as Jake Delhomme, Brian Mitchell, Jerry Babb, Michael Desormeaux, Nathan Granger and Don Wallace. After the game, fans will be able to get autographs on the field.
3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. — Oak Tree Stage
Lafayette’s Bayou Boys
This group, which released a song last year entitled “Ragin’ Cajun Tailgatin’ Time,” plays a little of almost every kind of music, including, zydeco, Cajun, country, R&B, oldies and New Orleans Funk. Admission is free.
Sunday, April 17
2 p.m. — Louisiana Ring Ceremony
UL Lafayette President Dr. Joseph Savoie will present UL Lafayette rings to students and alumni who have purchased them in advance. To be eligible to order a University ring, a student must have acquired 90 academic hours toward a degree. The ceremony will be held in the Student Union.