Catfish Fest raffles off Lombardi replica

Wood carving signed by 25 Saints, including Brees, Bush and Shockey


July 09, 2010 at 9:21 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Artist Landry Dempster poses with a wooden replica of the Lombardi Trophy that he built. The trophy is signed by 25 Saints players, including Drew Brees, Reggie Bush, Jeremy Shockey and Garrett Hartley. It will be raffled off at the Louisiana Catfish Fest
Artist Landry Dempster poses with a wooden replica of the Lombardi Trophy that he built. The trophy is signed by 25 Saints players, including Drew Brees, Reggie Bush, Jeremy Shockey and Garrett Hartley. It will be raffled off at the Louisiana Catfish Fest
Excitement is rising around St. Charles Parish as the 36th Annual Louisiana Catfish Festival, which will be held at St. Gertrude Catholic Church in Des Allemands from July 9-11, nears.

The annual raffle prizes are always a big draw to the festival, but this year artist Landry Dempster went above and beyond.

Landry got involved with the event through St. Gertrude's Catholic Church and has been donating wooden carvings to the festival for the past 34 years. This year, Landry has created a wooden replica of the Lombardi Trophy to raffle off at the festival, complete with the signatures of 25 Saints players including Drew Brees, Jeremy Shockey, Reggie Bush and Garrett Hartley.

Raffle tickets for the carving will be sold at the festival for $1 each or $10 for a book of 10. The carving will be raffled off at the close of the festival on Sunday.

The carved Lombardi trophy is not the only prize featured at the festival this weekend. Delicious Des Allemands catfish draws hundreds of hungry fest-goers every year.

Festival Chairman Kurt J. Dempster, who has helped put on the festival for the past 11 years, said that all food is cooked locally and that no outside vendors come in with pre-prepared food.

“All of our food is cooked daily, fresh every day and cooked throughout the day,” he said.

Kurt said he expects more participation in the festival this year because of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We're looking for a bigger crowd this year because of that - I think more people will want to come out and eat the good, fresh seafood because of what's going on in the Gulf,” he said. “We're hoping that will bring us more people.”

Kurt said that the festival will bring back usual crowd favorites, like the pageant queen catfish-eating contest, a homemade quilt raffle, craft booths and continuous music all three days.

There will also be 5k and 1-mile races and catfish skinning and cleaning demonstrations.

Rides will be offered by Mitchell Bros. Bracelets will cost $20 on Friday from 5-11 p.m., $20 on Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and $20 from 4-11 p.m., and on Sunday $20 from 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and $15 from 3-8 p.m. Bracelets to ride all weekend will be available for $55.

Kurt said the festival will also offer free parking, no gate fee and free admission.

Festival hours are Friday from 5-11 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.-11 p.m. and Sunday from 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.

The Rev. William McCallion founded the festival in 1975 to raise money for St. Gertrude Catholic Church and to stimulate the local economy. The same year, Gov. Edwin Edwards signed a proclamation declaring Des Allemands the Catfish Capital of the World and in 1980 the legislature passed a resolution naming the town the Catfish Capital of the Universe.

See the ad on page 3A for more information and a schedule of musical performances.




View other articles written By Michelle Stuckey

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