One of Louisiana’s most unique and oldest chartered harvest festivals is back on deck for Labor Day Weekend! Beginning more than 80 years ago as a blessing of the shrimp harvest and a celebration of the many who labored in the deep Gulf waters, the petroleum industry was added in 1967 to also honor this important industry. The Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival has grown from a simple event, paying tribute to both of these time-honored industries, to the 5-day extravaganza it is today! It features great food (shrimp just about any way you can cook it), continuous, free live music, arts & crafts, children’s activities, and traditional events, such as the blessing of the fleet and boat parade.
In addition to the unique name, the unique Cajun culture on the Cajun Coast is celebrated at the festival. The Annual Cajun Culinary Classic showcases local “home style” cooking featuring delicious Cajun and Creole dishes as well as a variety of desserts and other cuisines. Artists and crafters from south Louisiana will showcase their unique merchandise and artistic masterpieces. And a street parade, water parade with blessing of the fleet, and fireworks on the Atchafalaya River, mark the joie de vivre, joy of living, so prominent in the Cajun way of life.
The blessing of the fleet is a special part of the festival, and giving thanks for the harvest begins with Mass in the Park under the oaks in Lawrence Park on Sunday. After the water blessings from the Morgan City docks and celebrations on the Atchafalaya River, a Certificate of Blessing and a prayer card of St. Brendan the Navigator, patron Saint of Seafarers is presented to each participant.
The Shrimp & Petroleum Festival has been honored as a Festival of the Year by the Louisiana Fairs & Festivals Association, a Top 100 American Bus Association event and a top 20 Southeast Tourism Society event. It was even noted by Time magazine as “…the best, the most unusual, the most down-home, the most moving and the most fun that the country has to offer.”
Come join in the fun – make your reservations now for Labor Day weekend on the Cajun Coast!