Bayou Teche communities support TDT
Three years since its inception, Tour du Teche has become a globally-recognized paddle race and communities along the bayou have embraced the success.
St. Mary Parish residents can also throw in their support by cheering the paddlers along the route. Residents along Bayou Teche are particularly suited to do this.
There will be live music Oct. 6 along Parc sur la Teche as staff and visitors alike await the paddlers making the race section from St. Martinville to Franklin, the longest leg of the race.
Along the 135-mile race route, from Port Barre to Berwick, parishes, municipalities and organizations are making plans for the Oct. 5-7 race that will host 100 vessels this time.
Among the many ways communities have lent their support to the race, in Port Barre, there will be a welcome party Thursday, Oct. 5 and the city has provided use of city hall for registration and has provided portable restroom facilities.
Leonville built a boat launch and will sponsor a welcome tent with the help of their fire department. For the last two years they blew a siren as each boat passed the bridge.
Breaux Bridge held a “clean the bridge project” and “clear the banks of the bayou at Parc Des Ponts” two weekends ago. The bridge over Bayou Teche was power washed, and portable restroom facilities provided at the dock.
St Martinville will host a party Friday night. The city clears the banks of bayou for viewing of the race by the public.
New Iberia provided portable toilets and city park for a rest stop and check point.
Jeanerette opens restroom facilities at their park, as does Baldwin.
The Chitimacha Tribe operates a check point and offers hot dogs and cold water to racers.
Franklin will host a party Saturday evening. Motels in Franklin are offering discounted rates for paddlers.
The Franklin Fire Department will have a rescue boat on standby, and a Franklin resident will be using his water hyacinth cutter to help clear the bayou if needed.
St Mary Parish Government has offered full support.
The Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau office in Patterson will be open with restroom facilities, as will the Hayes Memorial Boat Launch.
Berwick will assure restroom facilities are provided at the finish line as well as music and other events.
St Martin Parish Government paid for and the St Martin Parish Sheriff’s Department built portage steps at the Keystone Dam.
All four parishes are providing sheriff department boats this year. All four Parish Tourist commissions are promoting the race, as well as the State of Louisiana.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries as well as U.S. Coast Guard are providing boats to help. So is the St. Mary Parish Levee Board and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Tour du Teche officials say this is but a sample of all the support the event has garnered.