Through The Years...
Delcambre Shrimp Festival History
In 1950, the Delcambre Shrimp Festival was born as a project to raise funds for the Delcambre Fire Department. The festival has continued to support community projects. The area wide attention it has received has helped the festival grow. The festival has grown so much that it has been listed in the top ten festivals in the State of Louisiana.
The early days of the festival were known as the Iberia Parish Shrimp Festival and Agricultural fair. The name of the festival was officially changed to the Delcambre Shrimp Festival in 1974.
During the first years of the festival, the queen was selected mostly from local girls. The girl who had the most votes became the queen. The first Queen was Gwendolyn Dooley, later known as Mrs. William Viator of New Iberia. The first King came later. Dr. Adolph Landry, a well-known physician of the community was named King in 1954.
Now entrants come from all over the state. Single girls between 17 and 21 are eligible to become queen. A panel of judges holds a private interview in the morning hours and the queen’s coronation is held that night at the Shrimp Festival building which was completed in 1972.
The Delcambre Shrimp Festival Queen represents the festival and the shrimping industry at area harvest festivals and also makes other good will appearances.
Beginning in 1955 the Shrimp Fisherman who has the largest catch was named King Crustacean. However, the last few years, the king has been selected by the Shrimper’s Association.
Blessing of shrimp fleet was introduced at the 1953 festival with Bishop Maurice Schexnayder, then auxiliary bishops of Lafayette, invoking God’s blessing of the fleet. Pastor of the Lady of the Lake Church in Delcambre now has this honor. In recent years, he has had the help of the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus from the area.
Delcambre is known as the center of the shrimping industry. The Delcambre Canal leads to Vermilion Bay and the shrimping waters. The canal was first dredged in 1906 by Louis Angers and became the key to prosperity of Delcambre.
Today, Delcambre has an excellent harbor with a 200-ft. public dock along the Intracoastal Canal. Recreational opportunities are abundant here with forest and fields full of game, in addition to rewarding fresh water fishing. Delcambre is a popular jumping-off place for salt water fishing as well with the Gulf of Mexico less than 10 miles away.