Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival poster unveiled
MORGAN CITY, La. — The official poster for the 78th annual Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival was unveiled with about a dozen people participating Monday afternoon on the front porch of the festival office on Second Street in Morgan City.
This year’s winning poster was submitted by Lake Charles graphic design student Liz Trahan. Her poster has almost a three-dimensional look to it. It has a pair of prominent images to represent the festival; a single boot which the artist called a “Cajun Reebok” with eight cocktail shrimp ringing the top edge and a generic hard hat such as those used by the thousands of petroleum industry workers along the Louisiana coast. The white rubber shrimper’s boot and orange work hat appear to almost jump off the bottom of the poster. Several images in the background, slightly out of focus, also represent the dual theme of the festival.
This year’s festival will officially open with a ribbon cutting at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 29 under the elevated highway on Second Street. But, carnival activities will actually start a half-hour earlier with a $20 pay-one-price arm band purchase.
Bands will play, food will be prepared and beverages served from Friday until Labor Day when the festival concludes, according to festival executive director Lee Delaune.
On Saturday, there will be a 5K run sponsored by 100 Black Men, an automobile show sponsored by the Cypress Corvette Club and the festival, and the popular Children’s Day activities, Delaune said.
The Blessing of the Fleet will be Sunday morning, followed by a Sunday afternoon street parade and Sunday night fireworks on the river, Delaune said
The festival has won nine festival-of-the-year awards since 1998, in its division, including winning the spot in 2011, according to the festival’s website.
Trahan’s poster submission was the winner from among 29 submissions this year, Delaune said. Most were from Trahan’s classmates in a graphic design course at SOWELA Technical Community College in Lake Charles. There was a single local submission along with one each from Thibodaux, Ponchatoula and north Louisiana, he said.
“This was a school assignment,” Trahan said of working on the poster. “I looked at other poster winners and I tried to do something different.”
Trahan explained the production of the poster was done primarily on a computer with Photoshop, the ubiquitous photo editing software.
The artist said she located a pair of dirty boots in the garage of her friend, Katie Harrington, in Lake Charles. Trahan cleaned the boots a little and photographed one of them for the poster. The hard hat was one her brother used in his employment. She changed the color to orange, almost the same shade as the shrimp in a boot.
Trahan said she completed the poster in February. “I liked it. It was different,” she said. “I thought I had a good chance of winning.”
The festival’s website says it has been honoring those who have worked tirelessly through rain and shine, sometimes even hurricanes, to provide the area’s economic lifeblood for over half a century. The festival also emphasizes the unique way in which these two seemingly different industries work hand-in-hand culturally and environmentally in this area of the “Cajun Coast.”
The festival began in 1936 when members of the Gulf Coast Seafood Producers & Trappers Association, in recognition of the Labor Day holiday, staged a friendly labor demonstration that has come to be known as the first festival, according to the official history of the festival found on its website. There were frog and alligator hunters, shrimpers, crab fishermen, dock workers and oystermen parading in the streets.
The 1967 festival combined the theme of shrimp and oil and was then known by its present-day name, the Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival, according to the website. Despite the annexation of oil into its title, the festival was proud to be allowed to retain its seniority as the oldest state chartered harvest festival in Louisiana.
The website describes the festival as a feast for all senses and quotes Time Magazine as saying it is “one of the best, most unusual, the most down-home, the most moving and the most fun the country has to offer.”