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General Information


Hampton Inn & Suites in Jennings, Louisiana

A block of rooms is reserved for YRARF 2024. The special room rate will be available until October 9th or until the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first. Booking your reservation is simple. To begin the process, click on the HOTEL image to take you to Hampton's page. Field trips will leave from the Hampton unless otherwise specified. You can also call (855) 680-3239.


L'Banco Albergo (Bank Hotel) in Lake Arthur is offering a special 15% off for YRARF 2022 participants. Call to make your reservations (337) 774-7249 or email: 

Mention that you are participating in YRARF 2024!

There are other hotels in Jennings and Lake Arthur, as well as RV Parks and campgrounds, including Myers Landing with cabins, and RV and campsites (337) 774-2338, which is hosting our gumbo dinner in Lake Arthur. There are various area listings on AirBNB, VRBO, etc. (it's hunting season and some fill fast).



Late October and early November are generally warm and mild (55-75 oF). However, always be prepared, because more extreme conditions are always possible - very hot and muggy or very windy and cold! To link to current local weather click on combine. 


Don't forget to review the Weather Contingency Plan

and how it could affect Field Days or Field Trips.

Notification of weather-related or other scheduling changes during the festival will be primarily by email / posted at the Festival Updates page at the YRARF website – if you will not have access Internet/email then you need to let the organizers know this…we may be able to post updates on a board at the Hampton Inn or possibly also closer to the harvest site, such as the Thornwell Warehouse Association building.


Recommended Birding Attire: be prepared for hot or cold, wet or dry

•Protective footwear for wet, muddy, slippery and uneven terrain: rubber boots are strongly recommended. Rubber boots also provide additional protection against fire ants and chiggers. 

• Protection from sun or biting bugs: a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and hat. The rice fields are generally not that buggy (except after dark) but coastal cheniers can have an abundance of mosquitoes (depends on the year).

•Field conditions may be dusty and very noisy in the vicinity of the combine: dust mask and ear protection are recommended (and provided in festival totes - but if in doubt, bring your own).


Recommended Birding Equipment: be prepared for dust and rice chaff

•optical equipment such as binoculars and a scope will enhance your viewing 


• a camera is a great means to archive moments of the festival experience.

Be advised, on or near the working combine can be very dusty!


Bugs, snakes, and other concerns

Rice chaff can not only be hard on equipment but some people are sensitive to rice chaff dust/debris  - please be attentive in the event you begin to feel distressed or may have an allergic reaction. We recommend that you wear a dust mask in the vicinity of the working combine.


Most frequently encountered pests include mosquitoes, fire ants, biting flies, wasps, spiders, and chiggers - not being adequately prepared for or inattentive to their possible presence can make a trip less enjoyable. Most pests are easily repelled (repellents, protective clothing, rubber boots, etc.) or avoided. Ticks are fairly locally distributed and generally not encountered with any frequency in the rice growing areas. Louisiana habitats are home to many harmless snake species; a few poisonous species do occur but are infrequently encountered (such as Cottonmouth and Copperhead) - with basic vigilance most, if not all, snakes can easily be avoided.  Probably of greater concern are environmental hazards, which may result from exposure. (during periods of hot weather: sun, heat, and humidity) or injury (from lack of attention to uneven or slippery terrain).


Food and bathrooms

Field sites tend to be in the “middle of nowhere” so once participants have been taken to a site they can come and go from a field at their leisure. However, we strongly recommend that you are prepared with some snack, water and/or other  beverages in case you find yourself not wanting to take a break and leave the action, especially if waiting for your turn aboard the combine. 

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