Stronghold Wrestling Club’s Crawfish Boil sees large turnout

Published 2:18 pm Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

ALABASTER – Residents had the chance to enjoy live music and dine on crawfish for a good cause during the Stronghold Wrestling Club’s 11th annual Crawfish Boil.

The Crawfish Boil was held on Saturday, May 13 at 2 p.m. at the Warrior Wrestling Club in Alabaster.

“It was fantastic,” said Norm Latona who helped organize the annual event. “It was probably the biggest one ever. It really turned out well and continues to grow.”

The event offered attendees a variety of dishes to enjoy.

“Mainly, it’s a food festival,” Latona said. “We cook a couple thousand pounds of crawfish, and I think this year, we had 25 smoked Boston Butts. We cooked a couple hundred pounds of fried fish.”

Alongside the food vendors, the event also had live entertainment.

Latona said a DJ performed for most of the day and, as part of a tradition, the band Nacho Daddy came and performed. They also had a cornhole tournament at the event and capped off the night with a bonfire.

“It’s just a good time for all,” Latona said. “Lots of folks from all over the place show up and celebrate together, and it’s just fun to watch. This thing started out in my backyard a dozen years ago. I think (the fact) that it’s grown to close to 1000 attendees from where it started is remarkable, but it’s just a testament to how much fun it is and everybody enjoys getting together and seeing one another.”

The annual Crawfish Boil also serves as a fundraiser for the Stronghold Wrestling Club and Warrior Wrestling Club.

“We’re actually trying to purchase a couple of mats for the facility right now,” Latona said. “The mats that the kids wrestle on are about a decade old and pretty worn out. They need to be replaced, so that was kind of a primary goal this year was to try and put some money back to do that (and) those things are pretty expensive.”

Stronghold Wrestling serves as a parent club for other wrestling clubs and is a nonprofit. The club owns two training facilities, the Warrior Wrestling Club in Alabaster and the Birmingham Wrestling Complex in Vestavia Hills.

The Crawfish Boil serves as an annual reunion for members of all the wrestling clubs to meet and reminisce.

“It’s sort of a celebration of past, present and future,” Latona said. “That’s one of the things that I love the most about it. There are some folks that you only see once, or twice a year that were a part of the club maybe a decade ago or even more. They come back to the event, they want to be around everyone, catch up. Many of which are married with kids now, have jobs. It’s kind of neat to see that. Some of these kids, I knew them when they were 7, 8, 9 years old and now they’re in their mid 20’s and doing great.”

Latona said that some attendees come from across the country.

“We get kids that come back from out-of-state, out-of-town,” Latona said. “We actually had folks this year come from Minnesota, from California, from New Jersey, from Maryland. Folks literally come from all over the country. We do it every year on Mother’s Day weekend. It’s a great time for everybody to get together and celebrate friends and family.”