The Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival, the state’s oldest chartered harvest festival, is scheduled to celebrate 77 years of tradition and family fun this coming Friday through Monday.
The Labor Day weekend festival will be held in Morgan City, with most festivities located within the downtown historic district.
The Shrimp and Petroleum Festival is free to the public and features food, continuous free live music, traditional events and children’s activities highlight the five-day extravaganza.
New events for the festival include a 50/50 raffle, as well as performances by The Big Fun Brass Band and Louisiana Kids Inc.
The 50/50 raffle is sponsored by the festival. Tickets are $1 and can be purchased at the festival office at 715 Second St. in Morgan City.
The Big Fun Brass Band, a New Orleans-style brass band, is composed of nine music students from Southeastern Louisiana University.
They will perform for multiple events throughout festival weekend, including entertainment at the Gospel Stage Saturday afternoon, and a second-line procession from the festival office to the city dock for the Blessing of the Fleet Sunday morning. They will also lead the street parade Sunday afternoon.
The public is encouraged to join in on the “second-line” fun. Bring your hankies and jazzy umbrellas to the festival office Sunday to take part in the procession to the city dock.
Also new to the festival will be Louisiana Kids Inc., a non-profit organization focused on the performing arts of children.
This group of young performers will be in Lawrence Park at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, as well as the porch at the festival office at 3 p.m.
The official ribbon cutting will open the festival at 5 p.m. today on Second Street under the E.J. “Lionel” Grizzaffi Bridge.
The 49th Art Show and Sale starts 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and continues through Monday at the downtown Everett Street Gallery. Starting Friday, Sept. 21, gallery hours will be 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays to Fridays and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.
Mitchell Brothers Carnival rides continue through 9 p.m. Monday.
Indulge your taste buds and satisfy your appetite at the 24th 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 35th Traditional Arts and Crafts Show and Sale will open at 5 p.m. today under the Grizzaffi Bridge and continues through 9 p.m. Monday. The event features more than 100 artists and crafters from south Louisiana with unique merchandise and artistic masterpieces.
Children’s Day activities begin with children’s field and game events at 9 a.m. Saturday. Children of all ages can participate in sack races, three-legged races and more.
Professional storytellers will entertain children as well as their parents with their wonderful stories after the field and games events. The Children’s Day Mini Street Parade begins 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 J. Ray McDermott/Teche Regional Medical Center/BP Children’s Village with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
The Children’s Village is a magical play land featuring games, prizes, face-painting and more. It will be open Saturday, Sunday and Monday beginning at 11:30 a.m. daily.
Downtown comes alive with continuous free live music performed at the Heritage Music Stage.
There will be many special events throughout the weekend.
A Cultural and Heritage Expo will be on display next to the festival office from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Monday.
Doiron’s Bass Tournament will begin at daylight Saturday.
A 5K Fun Run/Walk, High School Swim Relays and a car show begin at 8 a.m. Saturday.
The Gospel Stage will open Saturday at M.D. Shannon Elementary at noon, and again on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Traditional activities Sunday will take place starting with Mass in the Park, where the community will give thanks for its blessings at 8:30 a.m. and will be celebrated under the oaks in Lawrence Park.
The Historic Blessing of the Fleet will begin at 10 a.m. on the Atchafalaya River, 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 Street Parade will begin at the corner of Second and Onstead streets at 3 p.m. featuring past and present royalty, as well as visiting queens from various festivals throughout the state.
Fireworks on the River will begin at 9 p.m. Sunday.
People Haulers will provide a shuttle service from hotels in Morgan City to the festival grounds from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
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.