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Kate Mabry / Houma Courier

The Grand Isle International Tarpon Rodeo has been a local tradition since 1928. And while fishing is a major draw, the rodeo offers a bevy of other entertainment options.

Tommy Ory, pavilion coordinator, said the rodeo is 'an experience that everyone should do at least once.'

Afternoon crab races are set for today, Friday and Saturday. The races are open to children ages 4-12, who must provide their own hermit crabs.

Labeled crabs crawl from a basket in the center of a marked circle while the kids do their best to lure them. The first crab to crawl from under the basket and out of the circle wins.

There's a free shrimp boil set for 7 p.m. Thursday during the President's Welcome Party at the pavilion, and Rockin' Dopsie of New Orleans performs from 6-10 p.m.

On Friday, the New Orleans-based band Cowboy Mouth plays at 6 p.m. and Fog Hat of New York plays at 8:30 p.m.

On Saturday, local band Wiseguys will play 6-8 p.m. and 9:30-11 p.m. During the break between sets, the top fishermen will get their awards.

R.J. and Jay Paul Molinere of the History Channel's 'Swamp People' will sign autographs and take photos with fans 3-5 p.m. on Friday and 11-2 p.m. on Saturday.

Ory said the pair's rodeo appearance has become a tradition.

'This is about the fourth year they've been with us,' Ory said.

While visiting the island, the Grand Isle Butterfly Dome, 2757 La. 1, offers visitors a chance to see native butterflies and plants.

The dome is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday, and guided tours may be scheduled.

Following the beachside fun, Club Oasis, at 3125 La. 1, welcomes visitors who are 18 and older to check out the weekend's big acts, including Mannie Fresh and the Ying Yang Twins, manager Tasha Eschete said.

The 69 Boyz and 95 South will kick off the weekend at 10 p.m. today.

Mannie Fresh will be the headlining performance on Friday, and the Ying Yang Twins will end the festivities on Saturday.

Local band Category 6 will open for both acts at 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Eschete estimates 700 to 1,000 people will attend the shows nightly.

The cover charge for each night is $20 per person; drink specials include two-for-one drinks from 8-10 p.m. today and Friday.
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