Wright: Festival success highlights busy month

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The 2017 Andouille Festival was a success despite high school football and homecoming games Friday night and the brief rainstorm Saturday night.

The festival entertainment lineup was packed with top bands that brought in the crowds such as the CheeWeez, Catch 22, Mojeaux, Gina Brown & Anutha Level and Dwayne Dopsie & The Zydeco Hellraisers.

Congratulations to Chad Duhe with Acadian Ambulance on being this year’s Dang Douille Eating Contest Winner. Our second place winner was Chris Cancienne, a first place champion over the last several years, and third place went to Jason Montegut.

Our two-time Gumbo Cookoff Champion was Larry Zeno.

The Gospel tent packed our Sunday with many gospel hymns that drew a large crowd while and a second line parade passed through the festival grounds.

Our youth of St. John enjoyed the kids tent all weekend with crafts, painting, DJs and dance team performances.

• Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who were injured and the families of those who lost their lives with the oil rig explosion. Many residents in St. John felt the terrifying explosion that shook areas north of Airline Highway. There was no public safety concern to St. John Parish.

• The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority has been awarded a $14.2 million grant from the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council to complete engineering and design activities for the Mississippi River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp project under the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act).

This project is one of seven projects the RESTORE Council has selected for funding and will directly benefit Louisiana. This project will be the first dedicated river diversion project into the forested wetlands of Louisiana designed specifically for swamp forest restoration, with the goal being to reduce or minimize loss of swamp forest habitat in the project area through the reintroduction of Mississippi River water.

Last week a dedication was held with the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana and Conservation partners. The dedication was commencing the beginning of construction on the Vincent Matherne Reef in St. John Parish’s portion of Lake Ponchartrain.

Shell, Pontchartrain Building Materials, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, CCA River Parishes and St. John Parish partnered up to construct a 10-acre artificial reef that will consist of 4,000 tons of limestone, creating a habitat and enhancing fishing opportunities.

• Severe thunderstorms passed through St. John Sunday, causing significant damage to power lines along New Hwy 51.

The highway was shut down while crews were out making repairs and cleaning up the remnants of downed power lines and light poles.

Thank you Entergy for working so diligently to have our main Highway open for Monday morning rush hour.

Michael P. Wright is St. John the Baptist Parish Council District 5 representative and Council vice chairman. Contact him at District5@sjbparish.com or m.wright@sjbparish.com.