Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Only in Louisiana

Only in Louisiana will you find things like a shrimp boat in the median of a highway. 

In my hometown of Morgan City, The Spirit of Morgan City has been a landmark honoring the shrimping industry for ages. I have no idea how long it's been there - 1960s?  The boat sits at the foot of the 'old bridge' on Brashear Avenue.   I can remember hearing stories from out of towners talking about riding around town to learn their way around and stumbling upon a boat in the middle of the road.  How strange they'd say.  I'd never really thought about it being odd, as it has always been there to me. 

As long as I can remember, the boat and a section of the road is decorated every year for Christmas.  Santa was perched on the bow and reindeer leading the way, complete with Rudolph out front.  My Dad took me to the lighting ceremony every Thanksgiving night.  I remember standing in the crowd, trying to see what was going on.  A special needs child was chosen every year to flip the switch and how I wished I could flip that switch.  After the lights were on, a real Santa would stand on the boat and toss candy canes into the crowd.  I wanted to like the peppermint candy because it was from Santa, but I never did and I'm still not a fan of peppermint.  All of December, I always loved passing by seeing the lights.  Every chance I got, I'd request to drive over the old bridge so I could see the lights. 

 Last year, the whole scene was revamped by Lee Romaire, a Morgan City native who has a special effects studio in Hollywood.  He donated the display, turning it into a Cajun Christmas scene.  Santa is now a shrimp boat captain complete with white rubber boots, and instead of reindeer, the boat is led by albino gators with crab antlers.

I suppose it's only in Louisiana you'd see such a thing so it got great publicity.  It's pretty neat and very detailed...  but it seems a bit cliche'.  It doesn't have the same nostalgic feel the old decorations did.  I miss Rudolph.


  1. That is a neat shrimp boat. It looks so pretty all lit up. Such wonderful memories of your Dad taking you to the lighting ceremony every Thanksgiving. How fun that Santa would toss candy canes to the crowd. You don't like peppermint? There is a show called Christmas on the Bayou, and it's a favorite of mine. I imagine that's what it's like where you live.

    Enjoy this wonderful Christmas season.


    1. I have never heard of Christmas on the Bayou, so I looked it up. It was actually filmed about an hour away from me! I will have to find it and watch it.

  2. I got to admit, I too miss the reindeer. The gators just aren't cutting it in my opinion, though I get it with the area, etc. I think it would be cool to see the boat lit up and decorated at Christmas!


  3. How fascinating! I would love to see the shrimp boat.

  4. That is so cool. What an iconic piece of art/history right in your own back yard.