GRAND ISLE, La. – Grand Isle will host two events the weekend of April 12-14: The Grand Isle Blessing of the Fleet Festival and the 21st annual Grand Isle Migratory Bird Celebration.
“Come experience two great events in Grand Isle on April 12-14. The Grand Isle Blessing of the Fleet Festival and Ceremony celebrates and pays tribute to the shrimping and fishing industries, which have always been the backbone of our island culture. The festival offers live music, food, rides, games and a blessing of the fleet ceremony," said Grand Isle Mayor, David Camardelle. "Additionally, the migratory celebration is held during the peak of the spring Neotropical bird migration. It’s a great opportunity to see hundreds of bird species all over the island from Grand Isle’s maritime forest to beaches and the marsh and mangroves on the bay. I want to welcome everyone to enjoy this special weekend on Grand Isle.”
GRAND ISLE’S BLESSING OF THE FLEET FESTIVAL
The Blessing of the Fleet Festival includes fair rides, carnival games, music, food booths, as well as arts and crafts and sportsman booths. Local food will Gumbo, jambalaya, white beans, fried fish, fried shrimp on a stick, famous hurricane hole tuna tacos, fish tacos, fried stuffed seafood pistoletes, chicken wings, pulled pork, gratons, sweets and more. Live music by Ryan Foret & Foret Tradition, Jr. Lacrosse & Sumtin’ Sneaky, The Fender Benders, Shorts in December, Velvet Sky and The Gordon Bradberry Band.
The Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo Pavilion is located at the end of Tarpon Rodeo Drive next to the Sand Dollar Marina, which is located at 158 Sandollar Ct, Grand Isle. The fair opens on Friday, April 12, at 4 p.m. and closes Sunday, April 14, at 6 p.m. The Blessing of the Fleet will take place on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Sand Dollar Marina, at 158 Sandollar Ct, Grand Isle, near the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo Pavilion.
The event will take place at the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo Pavilion in Grand Isle. See full calendar of events at www.townofgrandisle.com.
21TH ANNUAL MIGRATORY BIRD CELEBRATION
Grand Isle is an essential stop for songbirds during their spring and fall migrations across the Gulf of Mexico. See songbirds in oak-hackberry woods, shorebirds and waders on beaches and in the marshes and raptors overhead. The celebration is held annually to correspond with peak bird migration in April. Last year’s event brought hundreds of birders and nature enthusiasts to the island, where over 135 species of birds were spotted over the weekend.
Highlights of this year’s event include daily, expert-led bird watching tours on the Grand Isle Birding Trail and Grand Isle State Park. Visitors can watch the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries catch migrating songbirds for weighing and measuring before release in Lafitte Woods Preserve. Kayak tours through the island’s mangroves and boat tours to pelican-rookery Queen Bess Island will also be offered as well as walking tours of the island’s historical homes. This year’s festival will include a photography tour with Award Winning Photographer George Ritchie. Visitors are encouraged to attend the events or walk various birding areas at their own pace. In addition to the birding trail and public beaches, many Grand Isle residents have opened up their yards to birders to enhance the bird watching experience. (Note: signs will indicate which yards are open to the public)
This Annual Celebration Event, initiated in 1998, was created in part to support the purchase and management of the Grand Isle Sanctuary to protect some of the last remaining undeveloped cheniere habitats (live oak ridges). The event is hosted by the Grand Isle Community Development Team, Town of Grand Isle, The Louisiana Nature Conservancy and Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program.
For a complete schedule of events, directions and event details visit www.townofgrandisle.com.