When it comes to crawdad eating, speed is everything.
"Hit the Crik," the annual crawdad eating contest at the Fulton Street Fair, will be hosted by Fontenot's Po Boys restaurant.
"We're going to do it this year," said Candy Fontenot, owner of Fontenot's Po Boys in Fulton. "It has relinquished over to us."
Contestants will be able to "peel the tail and suck the heads" off the red crustaceans — also known as mudbugs, crawfish and swamp buggies.
According to Fontenot, participants will have 10 minutes to eat as many crawdads as they can. "We won't require that they suck the heads, just that all the tail meat is gone," she said.
"We are going to give them 50 on a platter and trade it out as they finish," said Fontenot. "We will also have cocktail sauce if they want."
While Fontenot has never participated in a crawdad-eating contest, she says she's excited to see how many participants will eat.
"I've heard of people doing close to 200, but we'll see," she said.
Fontenot's, a family-owned Cajun restaurant at 505 Nichols St., opened up this spring. Fontenot, her husband, Ricky, and their three children are from West Monroe, Louisiana, and have been boiling crawdads for years.
"They are just like we used to (boil) in our backyard," she added.
Crawdads used in the festival's contest, according to Fontenot, will be seasoned and cooked with authentic Louisiana flavor.
"We use a couple of blends and hit them good with 'Tony's,'" said Fontenot, referring to the creole seasoning Tony Chachere's. "We also have them shipped live from the Louisiana Crawfish Company."
Contest details are not finalized, she added, but onlookers can expect a lively competition.
The contest will be 8 p.m. June 17 on the Fifth Street stage.