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Aug 30, 2010 12:57 PM by Kate Mundy

Shrimp and Petroleum Festival Begins This Week

Morgan City, LA - August 30, 2010- Louisiana's oldest chartered harvest festival is scheduled to celebrate its Diamond Jubilee, 75 years of tradition and family fun, this upcoming Labor Day Weekend.

The Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival will be held September 2 - 6, 2010 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.

Thursday, September 2nd, will be a salute to Morgan City's Sesquicentennial, the city's 150th year of incorporation, with a ribbon cutting at Second Street under the US Highway 90 Bridge. Sheauxdown will provide live entertainment from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the music stage in Lawrence Park. Food vendors will be available in the park through out the performance and continue for the duration of the festival. Mitchell Brothers Carnival rides and games will begin at 5 p.m. Thursday evening and will continue through Monday.

Indulge your taste buds and satisfy your appetite at the 22nd annual Cajun Culinary Classic, a showcase of local "home style" cooking featuring delicious Cajun & Creole dishes, as well as a variety of desserts and other cuisines. 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 will benefit from the proceeds.

The traditional arts & crafts show & sale will also open on Friday, September 3 at 5 PM under the US Highway 90 Bridge. The event features over 100 artists and crafters from south Louisiana with unique merchandise and artistic masterpieces.

Children's Day activities will begin with children's field & game events Saturday, September 4th at 9 AM. Children of all ages can participate in sack races, three legged races and more. Professional storytellers will entertain kids as well as their parents with their wonderful stories after the field and games events. The Children's Day Mini Street Parade will begin at 11 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/BP Children's Village with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 PM. The McDermott/Teche Regional Medical Center/BP Children's Village is a magical play land featuring games, prizes, face-painting, and more.

Downtown comes alive with continuous free live music performed at the Heritage Music Stage. As part of this year's theme, "Our Hometown Heritage," the festival will feature bright, upcoming artists from the area, as well as hometown legends. The Bon Journeys will kick off the festival at 6 PM on Friday, September 3rd followed by Allison Collins at 8:30 PM. Saturday afternoon will feature the Crappell Brothers Band at 1 PM, Bits & Pieces at 3:30 PM, Dirty Play at 6 PM and Zebra at 9 PM. On Sunday, September 5th, JJ Muggler will begin at 1:00 PMfollowed by Chubby Carrier at 3:30 PM, Christian Serpas at 6:00 PM and Doug Stone at 9 PM. On Monday, September 6th, Tommy G & Stormy Weather will perform at 1 PM, followed by Hunter Hayes at 3:00 PM, Don Rich at 5:00 PM and Travis Matte at 7:00 PM.

Traditional activities include the Coronation Court & Pageant, Mass in the Park, Fireworks on the River, and the Blessing of the Fleet. The Coronation Court & Pageant will be held Saturday, August 28th, at 7:30 PM. at the Municipal Auditorium with the crowning of a new King and Queen.
The community will give thanks for its blessings at Mass in the Park. Mass in the Park begins at 8:30 AM Sunday, September 5th, and will be celebrated under the oaks in Lawrence Park. Everyone is invited to attend.

The Historic Blessing of the Fleet 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.

Fireworks on the River, sponsored by Bollinger Shipyard, Town of Berwick, Teche Regional Medical Center and G&J Land & Marine, will begin at 9 PM Sunday evening. Grab a spot in Lawrence Park or old Morgan City/Berwick bridge and enjoy the firework spectacular.

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 75 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.

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