On their way back home from Mexico, Montreal residents Nicolas Brabant and Christine Chartrand stopped at Choctaw Fireman's Fair with their three kids Friday night.

Brabant said they learned about the event from an article in The Courier.

"We bought a newspaper in Houma, and it was in the newspaper, so we decided to come," he said. "We want to feel the Acadian culture. It's awesome for the kids."

The 35th annual event runs through Sunday at the fairgrounds, 2854 Choctaw Road. It is the Choctaw Volunteer Fire Department's largest fundraiser.

Fairgoers can dine on local delicacies such as crab cakes and fried fish or traditional fair foods like burgers and hot dogs. There are also plate dinners each day.

The fair includes a variety of carnival rides and games. Weekend ride bracelets are $65.

Parking and admission are free.

Board President Leroy Cortez said the fair is crucial to the success of the Fire Department, which doesn't collect a tax.

Cortez said he's been with the department for 34 years, almost as long as the fair has existed.

"We maybe had a couple hundred people, and it just started growing and growing," he said.

Fire Chief Cody Rink said the fair pays for everything from equipment to fuel for the fire trucks.

"It looks like we're going to have great weather this weekend," he said. "We've got a great band lineup, we've got great rides and, as always, great food. I think we'll have a great turnout. A lot better weather than we've had the past couple years."

Tyler Glynn, of Choctaw, said he attends the fair every year for the food, music and company.

"They have good security, and the people are just nice here," he said. "You really don't have to worry about fights or anything of that sort. It's a good family-oriented place to come out and have fun with your kids."

Sunday's festivities will include a parade at 10:30 a.m. and auction at 1 p.m.

Here's the band schedule for the weekend:

TODAY


2-5 p.m., Tet Dur.
5-9 p.m., Joey Thomas Band.
9 p.m. to midnight – Don Rich Band.

SUNDAY


Noon to 2 p.m., DJ.
2-6 p.m., Ryan Foret and Foret Tradition.

-- Staff Writer Bridget Mire can be reached at 448-7639 or bridget.mire@dailycomet.com. Follow her on Twitter @bridget_mire.