and JEAN KAESS
The 77th annual Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival is to begin Friday evening instead of today due to delays caused by Hurricane Isaac.
The festival was originally planned to kick off at 11 a.m. today with the art show followed by a ribbon cutting at 5 p.m. under the bridge at the corner of Brashear Avenue and Second Street near the festival office.
Everything was postponed 24 hours due to the storm and related delays, including cleaning up festival sites and securing an adequate number of police officers from neighboring parishes to provide security for the event.
Festival Association Board President Nathalie Weber said after meeting with Morgan City officials today, the festival is to begin at 5 p.m. Friday with the ribbon cutting scheduled at Second and Greenwood streets.
“We are having a festival,” Weber said. “We had to scratch Thursday, but the ‘pay one price’ on carnival rides was rescheduled for Friday night.”
After the festival begins, all venues and events will be held in their originally planned locations, including music venues, arts and crafts and the carnival.
After a long morning of meetings, Weber said festival administrators and the board were able to work out security for the Labor Day weekend event.
Originally, the festival was to be supported by volunteer law enforcement officers from Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, but those officers are now needed at home to maintain security in the wake of Hurricane Isaac, Morgan City Mayor Tim Matte said.
The festival and city then turned to parishes west of St. Mary to provide volunteers for the festival.
“Everything is under control,” Weber said. “The city was very accommodating and helpful in helping us get everything ready.”