30th Annual Bonnie and Clyde Festival to be held next month

By Paige Nash

This year will mark the 30th year for the annual Bonnie and Clyde Festival to be held in Gibsland, May 26-27th. 

Festival committee member Belinda Smith said, “We are looking for a crowd. We have people from all states that come to our festival.”

This event will kick off Friday evening at 6 p.m. with a jambalaya dinner featuring some of the most well-known Bonnie and Clyde historians that will be speaking and selling their merchandise. The dinner will be held in the old Lion’s Club building next to the Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum. 

The line-up of speakers will include long-time participant Bart Largent.

“I first went to Gibsland and the ambush site on the 50th anniversary of the ambush in 1984. My first time at the festival was in 1994, the second year of the festival,” said Largent. “I have been one of the speakers at the Friday night dinner for several years. I tell people, especially out of towers, that they will be surprised by the friendliness of the people in Gibsland. It’s a weekend full of fun and excitement. The story of Bonnie and Clyde is a part of American history. We have people from all over the country and even from outside of the US attend the festival. It’s all about history and having fun.”

On Saturday, the events for the day will begin with a pancake breakfast provided by the local Lion’s Club.

You can expect to see multiple re-enactments provided by the Public Enemy Group beginning at 10 a.m. As of now there are four scheduled to take place in town and one at the site of the original shooting, which is located approximately 8 miles south of Gibsland along Highway 154.

A parade will be rolling through downtown at 12 p.m. The festival committee is still looking for participants with vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles. Dance teams and clubs are welcome to join and it is completely free. 

They are also accepting vendor applications. If you are interested, there are spots available for $50 with electricity and $40 without. 

The Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum will also be open all weekend for tours.

The owner of the museum Perry Carver said, “Come out and have lots of fun. It is also Trade Days weekend, so we are hoping to be busy.”

For a full schedule of events and to stay updated on the festival please follow the Authentic Bonnie and Clyde Festival Facebook page. 

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