• 66°

How do some folks spell Friday night fun?

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / November 4, 1998

BOUTTE – While local high school teams are battling on the playing field on Friday nights, there is another form of keen competition going on in the River Parishes.

Bingo, once an activity on the decline, is on the rebound. It is alsobecoming more of a family-oriented activity with sisters bringing sisters and grandmothers bringing their grandchildren.

The St. Charles Bingo Hall has been open in Boutte for 10 years. For thattime, it has been owned by John and Juanita Landry. Juanita Landry has 20years of expertise in bingo and provides onsite advice to service organizations to help them with their games.

Those charitable groups include the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, Easter Seals, the Indian organizations and the Lions Club, who use bingo as fund-raiser to raise money for different causes.

The charitable organizations rent the location on a weekly basis so that if a group like the VFW plays on Wednesday night, it will have Wednesday night for the whole year.

The Houma Indians have had Friday nights for the past seven years. JohnLandry said the crowd on Friday nights is young with ages between 25 and 55 years old.

“It has been kind of steady,” John Landry said of the bingo business recently. “It had gone down some because of the casinos, but peoplerealized they can play bingo for $20 and have a great time for two hours of entertainment while at a casino, you might spend that in 10 minutes. Theycan come with their family members and relax and enjoy time with them.”Landry added that children 12 years and older can play bingo as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

Landry said 11 games are played a night on average, and pots range from $300 to $1,000. A new computer game called Bingo Mate can mark up to 72cards with a push of a button.

Landry said the bingo hall is known for its food, especially its shrimp patter on Friday nights. Games are played Mondays, Wednesdays,Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 and 7 p.m.Landry said the hall will be open Halloween night with a costume contest and door prizes.