Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival

Contact:
Lee Delaune - Festival Director - (985) 385-0703
Thane Aucoin – Publicity Chair - (985) 384-3622

Louisiana's oldest chartered harvest festival is scheduled to celebrate 74 years of tradition and family fun this upcoming Labor Day Weekend.

The Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival will be held September 3-September 7, 2009 in Morgan City, only 90 miles from New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette. Most festivities are held within the beautiful Downtown Historic District and are free to the general public. Great food, continuous free live music, traditional events and children's activities will highlight this five-day extravaganza.

New events for 2009 events include a shuttle service, car show, motorcycle benefit run and a demonstration tent.

Mitchell Brothers Carnival will kick off the festival, with rides and carnival games at 5 PM Thursday, September 3rd and will continue through Monday.

The traditional arts & crafts show & sale will also open on Friday, September 4th at 5 PM.The event features over 100 artists, crafters and food vendors and will be held under the cover of the US Highway 90 bridge.

The 7th Annual API/USCG Coast Guard Foundation and Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Golf Tournament will be held on Friday, September 18th at the Atchafalaya at Idlewild Golf Course in Patterson, an Audubon Golf Trail course and named one of the best courses to play under $75.00 by Golfer's Digest in 2007 & 2008..The tournament is co-sponsored by Major Equipment Rental, Laborde Marine, Frantz Marine, Allis Chalmers, Diamond Tank Rentals, King Trucking, Morgan City Rentals, Northbank Towing, Seward Supply, Sun Towing, Landry Harris Insurance and Eastern Shipbuilders.

Children's Day activities, sponsored by the Family of Oliver and Marion Bergeron, will begin with children's field & game events Saturday, September 5th at 9 AM.Children of all ages can participate in sack races, three legged races and more. At 1 p.m., professional storytellers will entertain kids as well as their parents with their wonderful stories. The Children's Day Mini Street Parade will begin at 11:30 AM. Decorated bicycles, wagons, strollers and four wheelers are welcome to participate. The Children's Day King and Queen will officially open the J Ray McDermott/Teche Regional Medical Center Children's Village with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 PM. Visiting festival queens will also be present.Visiting royalty travel is sponsored by Allen's TV Cable Service.Featuring a new look, the McDermott/Teche Regional Medical Center Children's Village, is a magical play land featuring a smoking dragon, games, prizes, face-painting and more and will be open from 1 PM to 5 PM Saturday- Monday.

Indulge your taste buds and satisfy your appetite at the 21st annual Cajun Culinary Classic, a showcase of local “home style” cooking featuring delicious Cajun & Creole dishes. The Cajun Culinary Classic is open 5 PM to 11 PM Friday, noon to 11 PM Saturday & Sunday, and noon to 9 PM Monday. Local non-profit groups and civic organizations such as Central Catholic High School, Christ Gospel Church, Twin Gospel Church, Kiwanis of Morgan City as well as many others will benefit from the proceeds.

Downtown comes alive with continuous free live music performed by local and national artists at the Petroleum Heritage Music Stage. Time Peace, will kick off the festival at 6 PM on Friday, September 4th followed by The Chee Weez at 8:30 PM.Johnny Firmin and American Heart will begin at 1 PM Saturday, September 5thfollowed by Dustin Ray and Southern Groove at 3:30 PM, MoJeaux at 6 PM and Bag of Donuts at 9 PM.On Sunday, September 6th, Tommy G & Stormy Weather will begin at 1:00 PMfollowed by Knight Train at 3:30 PM, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band at 6:00 PM and Hip Boot Joeat 9 PM.On Monday, September 7th, Ruff-n-Ready will perform at 1 PM, followed by Foret Tradtion at 3:00 PM, Waylon Thibodaux at 5:00 PM and Don Rich at 7:00 PM.

Listen and enjoy one of the South's most loved and heartfelt forms of music at the Fellowship of Love Gospel Stage, located inside M.D. Shannon Elementary Gymnasium. Entertainment is scheduled to begin Saturday, September 5th and continue through Sunday, September 6th.

The Cultural and Heritage Expo, to be held at Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival Visitor Center located at 715 Second Street, will feature exhibits, films, demonstrations and literature that focus on the area's unique culture. The Expo will be open Saturday through Monday, 10 AM to 3 PM.

Traditional activities include the Coronation Court, Mass in the Park and the Blessing of the Fleet. The Coronation Court will be held Saturday, August 29, 2009 at 7:30 PM. at the Municipal Auditorium with the crowning of a new King and Queen.The Court & Pageant is a ticketed event.

The community will give thanks for its blessings at Mass in the Park.Mass in the Park begins at 8:30 AM Sunday, September 6thand will be celebrated under the oaks in Lawrence Park.Father Gregg Fratt of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Morgan City will be the celebrant and will feature the 2009 King and Queen and the Knights of Columbus outfitted in full regalia. In the event of rain, services will be held at Holy Cross Catholic Church. Everyone is invited to attend.

The Historic Blessing of the Fleet sponsored by Tidewater, will begin at 10 AM Sunday, followed by the water parade, which features decorated shrimp boats, pleasure craft, offshore supply boats and some of the biggest “muscle” boats of the offshore industry including supply boats, crew boats and tugboats.

The annual Street Parade will be led by the U.S.C.G. Color Guard, Marine Safety Office, Morgan City.It is set to begin at 3 PM and will feature festival royalty, visiting queens, local bands and civic organizations.

Other festivities include the gigantic Fireworks on the River display at 9 PM. on Sunday night, co-sponsored by Bollinger Shipyards and Teche Regional Medical Center, Central Boat Rentals and G & J Land & Marine, the 100 Black Men 12th Annual 5-K Run/Walk, Doiron's Landing Annual Labor Day Bass Tournament, the MDA Horseshoe Tournament, and the Artist Guild Unlimited 47th Annual Judged Show & Sale at the Everett Street Gallery.

A demonstration tent, located at 715 Second Street of the festival grounds, will open on Saturday, September 5th at 1 p.m.Three demonstrations, lasting two hours each, will be featured. Products will be sold.

A shuttle service, sponsored by People Haulers, Inc. will be offered to guests at Lake End Park and local hotels to the festival grounds.Shuttle service will run Saturday, September 5th to Sunday, September 6th from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

A car show will be featured on Saturday, September 5th.Hosted by the Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival and the Cypress Corvette Club, the show will be held on the grounds of MD Shannon Elementary School, 409 Brashear Avenue from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.Registration is $25.00.Late fee is $30.00.Awards will be given at 3 p.m. Proceeds will benefit Relay for Life.

A Motorcycle Benefit Run will also be held on Saturday, September 5th from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Beginning in Berwick and ending in Morgan City near the festival grounds, the run will be approximately 125 miles.Proceeds will benefit the Shriner's Children's Hospital.

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 2009, 2007 & 2006 Festival of the Year in Division III and the best festival in 2001, 2000, 1999 and 1998 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 74 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.shrimp-petrofest.org. For a festival schedule, contact the Cajun Coast Visitors & Convention Bureau at (800) 256-2931 or the festival office at the above number.

The festival is sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism.