Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival

Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival

September, Labor Day weekend
This festival combines a celebration of an old industry and a newer one in Morgan City, La., which once called itself the Jumbo Shrimp Capital of the World. In 1947, oil was discovered offshore, and it was decided to combine the tribute to shrimp with a tribute to oil.
The celebration was originally known as the Shrimp Festival and Blessing of the Fleet . It began in 1937 as a revival of the Italian custom of blessing fishing fleets before they set out to sea, but from the first it also included boat races, a dance, a boat parade, and free boiled shrimp. After the world's first commercial offshore well was drilled in the Gulf of Mexico below Morgan City, the shrimp industry was outstripped in economic importance by the petroleum industry, and petroleum seeped into the festival. The highlight, though, is still the Blessing of the Fleet and a water parade, with hundreds of boats taking part. Other events of this festival, one of the state's premier affairs, are fireworks, an outdoor Roman Catholic mass, arts and crafts displays, Cajun culinary treats, musical performances, and the coronation of the festival King and Queen.
CONTACTS:
Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival and Fair Association
P.O. Box 103
Morgan City, LA 70381
504-385-0703; fax: 504-384-4628
www.shrimp-petrofest.org
SOURCES:
GdUSFest-1984, p. 67
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