Edwin Edwards to headline sweet potato festival - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Edwin Edwards to headline sweet potato festival

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BATON ROUGE, La., (KNOE 8 News) - Former four-time Governor Edwin Edwards and wife Trina will headline as Grand Marshals leading the Bruce Foods Sweet Potato Festival Parade at high noon, Saturday April 6, in Oak Grove, Louisiana. Bruce Foods, an 85-year-old Louisiana company, is the largest buyer and processor of sweet potatoes in the Gulf South under the name "Bruce's Yams," sold worldwide.

Bruce Foods President Si Brown will serve as Co-Grand Marshal with Governor Edwards along with Oak Grove native and bestselling author Leo Honeycutt.

"Excited is not a strong enough word to describe our feelings," West Carroll Chamber Special Events Coordinator Adam Holland said. "I have known the Governor since I was a child and met him at the first LMA convention I went to during my dad's (Jim Holland) first term on the city council. No Governor since Huey P. Long has done as much for the state and especially north Louisiana farm families as did EWE during his four terms. Having him and the head of the state's largest sweet potato food company is truly an honor."

The charismatic four-term Governor of Louisiana will also give one of his trademark speeches and sign books shortly after the parade. He and President Si Brown will make brief remarks at the Downtown Courtyard, located between Jack's Jewelry and the Drug Store. Brown will address the future of Louisiana's sweet potato industry. This will mark the first time the 85-year-old former governor has lead a festival and parade in north Louisiana in 20 years. Not only has Governor Edwards' biography written by Honeycutt become the biggest bestseller in state history, Edwards and wife Trina are also the subject of a national reality show premiering this summer on the A&E Network. The show called "The Governor's Wife" tentatively has been scheduled to air immediately following cable sensation "Duck Dynasty."

"I am so excited to return to see my friends in West Carroll Parish," says the former governor. "Of course, at 85 I'm excited to be anywhere. And I've made it this long because I've been eating West Carroll sweet potatoes all my life, skin and all. They're that good. They were a staple in the mansion."

"Louisiana's sweet potatoes certainly are the best tasting in America," adds Si Brown of Bruce Foods. "Louisiana has always led the entire sweet potato

industry. With the world replacing white potatoes and fries with sweet potatoes, the sky's the limit for Louisiana sweet potato farmers."

"It'll be great being back home," says Honeycutt. "Without the friendships and education I had in West Carroll, I could not have had the opportunity to travel the world as a news broadcaster, to write books, cover every governor since Edwards' first term and both presidents Reagan and Clinton. But the first thing I think about when coming home to Oak Grove is baked, candied sweet potatoes."

Edwards dominated Louisiana politics from 1972-1996 and synchronized Louisiana's business and farm economies to the extent that, by the end of his second term, Louisiana was the most cash-rich state in the nation at nearly full employment. Founded in 1928 in New Iberia, Louisiana, Bruce Foods Corporation is one of America's largest privately-owned food manufacturers with more than 1,200 employees running four plants, two in Louisiana, one in Texas and one in North Carolina. Bruce Foods produces 350 different all-natural products under nine premium brands sold in over 100 countries.

 

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