Festival braves rain and wind, concludes today
Arts and crafts, food vendors and carnival rides for the 76th annual Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival are scheduled to go on as planned today, the final day of annual Labor Day weekend festival.
Festival Executive Director Lee Delaune said this morning that festival officials were trying to open the carnival around 11 a.m. this morning instead of noon and that all food vendors and crafters were open as of 9:30 a.m. today.
Later today, the Street Parade through Morgan City’s Downtown Historic District will roll at 3 p.m., while tonight, Fireworks on Berwick Bay are planned for 9 p.m.
Both were postponed from Sunday because of the inclement weather brought on by Tropical Storm Lee.
As for Lee’s other effects on the festival weekend, Delaune said he knew that some vendors’ tents went down during the weekend because of the inclement weather, but he was unaware of reports of damaged products that a vendor told a Daily Review reporter about.
Delaune said that most of the weekend’s food vendors showed up, and while he knew some arts and crafts vendors didn’t show up, he didn’t know how many.
The executive director also reported that attendance was much lower than anticipated for the festival weekend, but that nothing prevented the festival from going forward throughout the inclement weather.
In addition to the Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival/Cypress Corvette Club car show, which has not been rescheduled, Delaune said the Blessing of the Fleet and Water Parade on Berwick Bay, use of the River Front Stage for entertainers, the National Softball Association-sanctioned tournament at Kemper Williams Park near Patterson and the Doiron’s Landing annual Labor Day Bass Tournament in Stephensville all were cancelled.
The River Front Stage cancellation meant VooDoo Bayou Band and Déjà Vu did not perform. Those two bands were the lone entertainment cancellations, Delaune said.
Tommy G and Stormy Weather, who was to perform Sunday, was postponed until today at 11 a.m. in Lawrence Park on the Petroleum Heritage Stage, sponsored by Murphy Exploration.
The other performances for today on the Lawrence Park Stage: Don Rich Band (1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.), Good Feelin’ Band (3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.), Damon Troy (5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.) and Mojeaux (7 p.m. to 9 p.m.) all are set to go on as planned.
While the Blessing of the Fleet was cancelled, a much smaller ceremony, including the toasting of the festival royalty, was held at the festival office on Second Street in Morgan City on Sunday where King David Naquin and Queen Alli Landry toasted.
Normally, the ceremony includes the meeting of the festival queen and king on shrimp boats in the middle of Berwick Bay, where they toast.
The celebrant of the traditional Mass in Lawrence Park also blesses the fleet of boats in the parade asking for safety for them during their travels and bountiful harvests for those who still catch seafood from local waterways.
The mass, which always precedes the blessing on Sunday morning, was moved to Holy Cross Catholic Church in Morgan City.
While cancellations were limited this weekend, postponements were plenty.
The Children’s Day activities, Children’s Parade and Children’s Village all were postponed until today.
The Children’s Day activities and parade originally were scheduled for Saturday morning. The events kicked off with the Children’s Day activities at 9 a.m., and the Children’s Parade immediately followed.
Both of these events are sponsored by the family of Oliver and Marion Bergeron and Sewart Supply.
Delaune said the Children’s Village, which was scheduled to be open Saturday through today, was opened for the first time today and was scheduled to remain open for most of the day. The event is sponsored by J. Ray McDermott, Teche Regional Medical Center and BP.