State's Oldest Festival: Cajun Coast
Shrimp and petroleum sound like an odd combination for a festival. But these are two of the prime industries of St. Mary Parish and have produced one of the state's oldest harvest celebrations.
This year's Shrimp and Petroleum Festival celebration will be August 31 through September 4 in downtown Morgan City. Held every Labor Day weekend, tens of thousands of people converge to join in on an event that proves that oil and water really do mix.
The festival has been honoring those who have worked tirelessly through rain and shine--and sometimes even hurricanes--to provide the area's economic lifeblood for over half a century. The festival also emphasizes the unique way in which these two seemingly different industries work hand-in-hand culturally and environmentally in this area of the "Cajun Coast."
Morgan City and the surrounding area of St. Mary Parish are located in the Atchafalaya Basin, America's largest river swamp, and near the Gulf of Mexico. This region, hailed as the Cajun Coast of Louisiana, and its natural resources have created a wealth of industries involved in seafood processing, oil, agriculture, shipbuilding, and more.
These resources are celebrated with a free festival, which has claimed Festival of the Year honors nine times since 1998. Time Magazine heralded the Shrimp and Petro Festival as "one of the best, most unusual, the most down-home, and the most fun the country has to offer..."
The four-day festival features fun for all ages, including live music from local and national entertainers, 150 booths of arts and crafts, a Children's Village, a culture and heritage exposition, and many carnival rides. Be sure to watch the traditional Blessing of the Fleet and the water parade. It is a sight to see.
So come tap your toes and tempt your taste buds all weekend long!