St. Bernard celebrates crawfish and redfish at annual festivalApr 6th, 2010 | By Frank McCormack | Category: Community
Last weekend, people from St. Bernard and surrounding parishes got to celebrate two of their most beloved seafood – crawfish and redfish – at the annual Louisiana Crawfish Festival.
Chalmette’s Louisiana Crawfish Festival, held at Torres Park in Chalmette, ran from March 25 through March 28. Mudbug enthusiasts had their pick of dozens of crawfish creations, while music lovers moved to the tunes of The Topcats and The Chee Weez.
New to this year’s Crawfish Festival was the HT Professional Redfish Series tournament ,held March 26–27. Weigh-ins took place both days on the grounds at the Crawfish Festival.
The tournament, along with superb weather conditions, drew a huge crowd out to the Crawfish Festival March 27. Parish officials estimated Saturday attendance at about 50,000.
“It gave the festival a new dimension, offering something to visitors that they maybe hadn’t seen before,” said Elizabeth McDougall, tourism director for St. Bernard Parish. “I thought it was a very good pairing of two events.”
Though the fishing wasn’t always easy, tournament participants openly enjoyed their time in St. Bernard Parish.
“Whenever you’re fishing here, you know it’s going to be good,” said C.T. Williams, tournament participant and co-founder of Hopedale-based BIGFISH Charters. Williams and teammate Lloyd Landry placed third.
“The people here are great,” said Barnie White from Brewton, Ala. “It’s a good fishery.”
White said he especially enjoyed the muffalettas provided by the local Rotary Club. White and teammate Paul Dufrene finished ninth.
Robert Scherer and Blaine Friermood came in second place. Scherer said their success was all about location. He and Friermood fished the rock dam across Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet.
“We fished the rocks, and that’s where we stayed,” Scherer said.
“Cajun” Phil and Kevin Broussard won the $10,000 first place prize with a total catch of 30.76 pounds. The Broussards also won a two-piece trophy handcrafted by local artist Luis Colmenarer.
After the final weigh-in, tournament director Gritter Griffin summed up the experience.
“This is our favorite place to come, and you guys make it so perfect every time,” he said. “Chalmette is the ticket.”