While the Rotary Club of St. Charles Parish has cancelled the 2020 Alligator Festival, supporters can still join in on some fun on the Friday night of what would have been festival weekend.
The Rotary Club will be hosting the ticketed fundraising event Gatorganza on Sept. 25 from 5 – 8 p.m. The outdoor concert event will feature music by Wayne Toups, who is being sponsored by St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne.
Gatorganza will take place at the Grand Ridge Golf Club, located at 500 Willowdale Blvd. in Luling. Ticket prices and experiences vary.
VIP tickets, priced at $150, will grant revelers Cypress Room admission, food, open self-serve bar, beer and water. Regular admission is $75 and includes food, beer and water. Tickets for children (under 12 years old) are $50.
Pastalaya and alligator sauce piquant will be on the menu, and the event will feature a $1,000 raffle and silent auction. Liquor and soft drinks will be available for purchase on-site. No outside food or beverages will be allowed.
“Gatorganza was originally planned as a kick-off to the festival, but now we are holding it in lieu of it,” Kelsey Pollock, public relations chair for the Rotary Club of St. Charles Parish, said. “All of the money raised at Gatorganza will help to support the Rotary’s scholarship fund. “
She added all social distancing protocols and safety measures will be enforced.
The Rotary Club of St. Charles Parish was formed in 1978. With a goal of giving back to the community, the club decided to create a festival where all of the funds raised went towards scholarships to Destrehan and Hahnville High School seniors to further their education.
That festival is now known as the Alligator Festival.
The first Alligator Festival took place on the driving range of the Willowdale Country Club in 1980. After quickly outgrowing the Willowdale site, the Alligator Festival was moved to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Hahnville. It later moved again to two locations on Highway 90 in Boutte – one being where Wal-Mart is now located.
Since 2000, the Alligator Festival has been located at the West Bank Bridge Park.
The original $250 scholarship was donated in 1980 by Rotary Club and St. Charles Parish School Board member Archie Mollere. Since then, the Rotary Club of St. Charles Parish has awarded nearly $1 million dollars in scholarships, making it the largest provider of private scholarships in the parish.
Gatorganza tickets are available for purchase at www.alligatorfestival.org/gatorganza.