81st Annual Shrimp and Petroleum Festival Slated for Labor Day Weekend

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Darby Isham - Festival Director

(985) 385-0703

                                                                                                                            

81st Annual Shrimp and Petroleum Festival Slated for Labor Day Weekend

                MORGAN CITY, LA — Louisiana’s oldest chartered harvest festival is scheduled to celebrate 81 years of tradition and family fun this upcoming Labor Day Weekend, September 1-5, 2016.

The Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival will be held in Morgan City, only 90 miles from New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette. Most festivities are held within the Downtown Historic District and are free to the general public. Great food, continuous free live music and children’s activities as well as both traditional and new events will highlight this five-day extravaganza. 

The 53rd Labor Day Art Show & Sale will start on Thursday, September 1 and continue through Saturday, September 24, in the downtown Everett Street Gallery. Hours to view the exhibit during the festival are 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday through Monday.

            Thursday, September 1 the official ribbon cutting will open the festival at 5 p.m. on Second Street under the U.S. 90 bridge. Also, on Thursday, Mitchell Brothers Carnival rides and games will begin at 5 p.m. and continue through Monday at 9 p.m. Bracelets will be offered Thursday, September 1 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Monday, September 5 from noon to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Bracelets are $25 each.

            Indulge your taste buds and satisfy your appetite at the 28th Annual Cajun Culinary Classic, a showcase of local “home style” cooking featuring delicious Cajun and Creole dishes as well as a variety of desserts and other cuisines. The Cajun Culinary Classic is open 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and noon to 9 p.m. Monday. Local non-profit groups and civic organizations benefit from the proceeds.

            The 39th Arts & Crafts Show & Sale will open Friday, September 2 at 5 p.m. under the U.S. 90 bridge and continue through Monday, Sept. 5 at 9 pm. The event features over 150 artists and crafters from south Louisiana with unique merchandise and artistic masterpieces for sale.

            Children’s Day activities will begin with children’s field and game events Saturday, September 3 at 9 am.  Children of all ages can participate in sack races, three-legged races and more. The Children’s Day Mini Street Parade will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday. Decorated bicycles, wagons, strollers and four wheelers are welcome to participate.

The Children’s Day King and Queen will officially open the Children’s Village with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday, September 3 at 1 p.m. The Children’s Village is a play land featuring games, prizes, face-painting and more. The Children’s Village will be open Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

            Downtown comes alive with continuous free live music performed at the Heritage Music Stage.  The festival will feature bright, upcoming artists from the area, as well as hometown legends.

The music line for 2016 includes:

—Friday, September 2, 5 p.m. – Cliff Hillebran & the Anytime Band, 7 p.m. – The Kyle Wilson Band, 9 p.m. – ZOSO.

—Saturday, September 3, 11:30 a.m. – Cajun and Zydeco dance lessons; 1:30 p.m. – Geno Delafose, 4 p.m. – The Beau Young Band, 6:30 p.m. – Category 6, 9 p.m. Cowboy Mouth.

—Sunday, September 4, noon - Cajun and Zydeco dance lessons; 2 p.m. – Chubby Carrier, 4:30 p.m. – South 70 Band, 7 p.m. – Todd O’Neill, and 9:30 p.m. –MoJEAUX.

—Monday, September 5, 11 a.m. – Just Cuz Band, 1:30 p.m. – The Pontchartrain Wrecks, 4 p.m. – The Ross Grisham Band and 6:30 p.m. – Don Rich.

            There will be many special events throughout the weekend. A Cultural & Heritage Expo will be on display next to the festival office from Friday through Monday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cypress Corvette Club Open Car Show will take place on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at M.D. Shannon Elementary. A 5K Fun Run/Walk will begin 8 a.m. on Saturday. The Gospel Stage also will open Saturday at M.D. Shannon Elementary, 409 Brashear Avenue, at 3 p.m. and again on Sunday at 3 p.m.

Traditional activities on Sunday will take place starting with the Mass in the Park. The community will give thanks for its blessings at the Mass in the Park at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, September 4. It will be celebrated under the oaks in Lawrence Park and is open to the public.

The Historic Blessing of the Fleet will begin at 10 a.m. on the Atchafalaya River from the Berwick docks and is followed by the water parade featuring decorated shrimp boats, pleasure crafts, offshore supply boats and some of the biggest “muscle” boats of the offshore industry including supply boats, crew boats and tugboats. A Certificate of Blessing and a prayer card of St. Brendan the Navigator, patron Saint of Seafarers will be presented to each participant.

The Street Parade will begin at the corner of Second and Onstead streets at 3 p.m. featuring past and present royalty along with this year’s maids and their pages and visiting queens from various festivals throughout the state. Fireworks on the River will begin at 9 p.m. Sunday evening. Grab a spot in Lawrence Park, on top the seawall or on the La. 182 bridge and enjoy the fireworks spectacular. Tune your radio to 95.3 KQKI to listen to the synchronized music.

The Cajun Coast Visitors & Convention Bureau is sponsoring a shuttle service from various hotels in Morgan City and Lake End Park as well as possibly a general public pickup location to the festival grounds. The cost is $5 per passenger. Shuttles will run continuously Friday from 4 p.m. to midnight and Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight.

            The festival began in 1936 when the placid port of Morgan City and Berwick received the first boatload of jumbo shrimp, fresh from the deepest Gulf waters.  The festival became the Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival in 1967, when the oil industry was firmly implanted into the local economy.    

The festival has grown to become one of the state’s premiere festivals.  The festival was voted Festival of the Year in Division III for the past 10 years by the Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festivals, a top 100 American Bus Association event and a top 20 Southeast Tourism Society event. In July of 1991 Time magazine described the festival as “...the best, the most unusual, the most down-home, the most moving and the most fun that the country has to offer.”

Festival organizers invite you to bring your family to Morgan City for Labor Day weekend to enjoy 81 years of tradition and family fun. For more information, contact the festival office at (985) 385-0703, or visit the festival’s web site at www.shrimpandpetroleum.org. For a festival schedule, contact the Cajun Coast Visitors & Convention Bureau at (800) 256-2931 or the festival office at the above number.

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