Weather dampens Saturday, Sunday a sunny blowout

Kara Klahn and Noah Johnson were enjoying the carnival rides on Sunday at the festival.
(The Daily Review Photo by Crystal Thielepape)

The weather may have dampened the festival Saturday, but festival goers made up for the day they missed on Sunday, organizers say.
“Saturday was a washout. Sunday was awesome. Last night, the park was packed and for most of the day,” Lee Delaune, Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival director, said.
Nathalie Weber, festival board president, concurred.
“Even with the rain on Saturday, they had people under the bridge. It looks very promising,” she said.
A University of New Orleans team in town to conduct an impact study said they talked to people from Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and Michigan in the U.S. and as far away as Australia and France, Delaune and Weber said.
“Everybody showed a love for the festival. Most hometown people they interviewed said nothing but good for the festival,” Delaune said.
The results from the survey will be available in October, Weber said.
Sunday apparently was profitable for vendors.
Delaune said Pretty Boys Shrimp, selling boiled shrimp in Lawrence Park, ran out of product Sunday and “went down the bayou to buy 400 pounds more.”
Meanwhile, at least one vendor at the craft show sold all her merchandise and left Sunday, Weber said.
She was told by St. Mary Chamber of Commerce President Donna Meyer that a booth selling purses completely sold out of inventory by the time she went back to shop on Sunday and had packed up.
Several events were impacted by Saturday’s rain.
The Children’s Village opened Sunday instead of Saturday, with a grand opening and ribbon cutting. It continues today, a change from the original schedule.
Likewise, the Children’s Day parade was moved to 11 a.m. today.
The car show that was to be held at M.D. Shannon Elementary was cancelled and may be rescheduled at a later date.
Weber said the Mass in the Park was moved to Holy Cross Catholic Church.
“The park was really wet after Saturday’s rain, and we felt it was too early Sunday to put chairs in the park,” Weber said.
The Rev. Michael Russo, a native of Patterson, returned to the area to celebrate the Mass. It is his 25th anniversary year as a priest, and he had celebrated the Mass in the Park in the first year of his career, Weber said.
“We all have to worry about Mother Nature in due course. All the prayers that were asked probably were answered. Even though the grounds were wet, (Sunday) was an awesome day,” Delaune said.
Four arrests were made on the fairgrounds, according to Morgan City police.
They were for drug paraphernalia possession, a warrant for probation violation and two festival-related incidents.

By JEAN L. McCORKLE jmccorkle@daily-review.com

St. Mary Now & Franklin Banner-Tribune

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