The 30th Annual Mudbug Madness Festival kicks off in downtown Shreveport's Festival Plaza today.

Chairwoman Terri Matthews says it's a big party, complete with live music, contests, activities for the kids...and let's not forget the stars of the show -- the mudbugs! much are those 'bugs going to cost us this year? Are they more expensive? "No, they came down a little bit," Matthews says. "They're $8 a plate, and that includes your corn and potatoes. That's for two pounds. They've come down because the weather has been ripe for the crawfish, and so there's ample supply, so we can make them affordable."

She also tells us there's a ton of great live music on the lineup. You can get the complete list on the Festival's website. As a first this year, in honor of the 30th anniversary, is a fireworks show. That's going to start at 8:45 on closing night, which is Sunday. "You don't have to move far," Matthews says. "We're gonna shoot them off the rooftops of buildings downtown, so all you have to do is look up."

The festival starts at 11 this morning, with a VIP Crawfish-eating Contest beginning at noon. You might see some folks from our Townsquare Media building in the running for that (they won't tell us exactly who!)

Hours are 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. today through Sunday. Today and tomorrow, admission is free until 5 o'clock. It costs $5 after that, and all day Saturday and Sunday. Children 12 and under get in free.

Shuttle service to and from the festival is also available. It picks up at the northeast lot by Dillard's at Mall St. Vincent, and at the south entrance facing I-20 at Pierre Bossier Mall.