Apr 21, 2014 7:55 PM by Akeam Ashford
Thousands of people swarm the streets of Lafayette every year for Festival International de Louisiane.
With only two days until Festival kicks into high gear, festival organizers still need help.
Festival Executive Director Missy Paschke-Wood said volunteers are what drive Festival and keep it free for all to enjoy.
"There's about 2,000 people who volunteer in dozens of different areas, and, honestly, without them we could not do this festival," Paschke-Wood said.
Those who come to Festival enjoy the music, food and shopping, but without volunteers like Debra Vallier none of it would be possible.
"The first year I moved here and saw the crowd, I knew I had to come back. Once I stopped, talked, and met a couple people and the next thing you know I was volunteering," Vallier said.
This will be Vallier's third year as a Festival volunteer.
She said she enjoys the chance to learn about all the different cultures that come to Lafayette during Festival weekend.
"People who come to Festival will never be disappointed; they will keep coming back," Vallier said. "As a matter of fact, they will not come back a second time alone."
Paschke-Wood said the only restriction for volunteers is they have to be 15 years old or older.
"We would love to have them, especially in our Scene' de Jeune area. It is a great spot to volunteer on Saturday or Sunday," Paschke-Wood said. "I would also encourage those people who love Festival to experience more of the festival by being a part of Festival."
Organizers also ask that you pick up your official Festival pin; it's another way to keep the festival free.
If you would like to volunteer, visit the Festival website at http://festivalinternational.volunteerhub.com/.
You can also sign up at the volunteer tent during Festival itself.