The Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival will be held in Morgan City, only 90 miles from New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette. Most festivities are held within the Downtown Historic District and are free to the general public. Great food, continuous free live music and children’s activities as well as both traditional and new events will highlight this five-day extravaganza.
Louisiana’s oldest chartered harvest festival is scheduled to celebrate 84 years of tradition and family fun this upcoming Labor Day Weekend, August 29-September 2, 2019.
The 56th Labor Day Art Show & Sale will start on Thursday, August 29th and continue through Saturday, September 2, 2019 in the downtown Everett Street Gallery. Hours to view the exhibit during the festival are 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday through Monday.
Thursday, August 29th, is the official ribbon cutting will open the festival at 5 p.m. on Second Street under the U.S. 90 bridge. Also, on Thursday, Mitchell Brothers Carnival rides and games will begin at 5 p.m. and continue through Monday at 9 p.m. Bracelets will be offered Thursday, August 29th from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Monday, September 3 from noon to 9 p.m. Bracelets are $25 each.
Indulge your taste buds and satisfy your appetite at the 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 Cajun Culinary Classic is open 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and noon to 7:30 p.m. Monday. Local non-profit groups and civic organizations benefit from the proceeds.
The 42nd Arts & Crafts Show & Sale will open Friday, August 30th at 5 p.m. under the U.S. 90 bridge and continue through Monday, Sept. 2nd at 9 pm. The event features over 130 artists and crafters from south Louisiana with unique merchandise and artistic masterpieces for sale.
Children’s Day activities will begin with children’s field and game events Saturday, August 31st at 9 am. Children of all ages can participate in sack races, three-legged races and more. The Children’s Day Mini Street Parade will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday. Decorated bicycles, wagons, strollers and four wheelers are welcome to participate. Registration begins at 10 a.m. in front of City Hall.
The Children’s Day King and Queen will officially open the Children’s Village with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday, August 31st at 1 p.m. The Children’s Village is a play land featuring games, prizes, face-painting and more. The Children’s Village will be open Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Downtown comes alive with continuous free live music performed at the Heritage Music Stage. The festival will feature bright, upcoming artists from the area, as well as hometown legends.
There will be many special events throughout the weekend. Cypress Corvette Club Open Car Show will take place on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at M.D. Shannon Elementary, 409 Brashear Avenue. A 5K Fun Run/Walk will begin 8 a.m. on Saturday, with start up near City Hall.
Traditional activities on Sunday will take place starting with the Mass in the Park. The community will give thanks for its blessings at the Mass in the Park at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, September 1. It will be celebrated under the oaks in Lawrence Park and is open to the public.
Morgan City Rotary Club will be selling pancakes at the corner of Everett and 2nd Street after Mass in the Park and during the Blessing of the Fleet and Water Parade.
The Historic Blessing of the Fleet will begin at 10 a.m. on the Atchafalaya River from the Morgan City docks and is followed by the water parade featuring decorated shrimp boats, pleasure crafts, offshore supply boats and some of the biggest “muscle” boats of the offshore industry including supply boats, crew boats and tugboats. A Certificate of Blessing and a prayer card of St. Brendan the Navigator, patron Saint of Seafarers will be presented to each participant.
The Street Parade will begin at the corner of Second and Onstead streets at 3 p.m. featuring past and present royalty along with this year’s maids and their pages and visiting queens from various festivals throughout the state. Fireworks on the River will begin at 9 p.m. Sunday evening. Grab a spot in Lawrence Park, on top the seawall or on the La. 182 bridge and enjoy the fireworks spectacular. Tune your radio to 95.3 KQKI to listen to the synchronized music.
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 Festival of the Year in Division III for the past 10 years 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 84 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.shrimpandpetroleum.org. For a festival schedule, contact the Cajun Coast Visitors & Convention Bureau at (800) 256-2931 or the festival office at the above number.