Louisiana’s Shrimp & Petroleum Festival Doesn’t See What All the Fuss Is About


Locals from Morgan City, near Louisiana’s southern coast, have been fielding a lot of questions lately about their annual harvest celebration, the Shrimp & Petroleum Festival. Outsiders fixated on the BP oil spill, recent Mariner Energy offshore drill explosion, and widespread concern over the safety of shrimp from the Gulf think it sounds sort of like Al Qaeda’s Downtown Redevelopment Initiative or Michael Lohan’s Good Parenting Fair. But residents are rather testy about the seeming contradiction, noting that the festival celebrates the local harvest, and as the oil business took over shrimping, the festival added “oil” to its name in 1967. When asked why shrimpers weren’t angry with the oil folks, Steve Shirley, a local newspaper editor explained, “They’re often the same people. They work on the well platforms and fish on their days off.” Angry or not, Morgan City’s shrimpers have had to dock their boats in the wake of the spill. And the shrimp at this week’s festival will be from the East Coast.

Louisiana Shrimp, Petroleum Festival Draws Attention Amid Oil Woes