Monday, May 16, 2011

Pirogue Races Cancelled again

The Bayou Liberty Pirogue Championships, traditionally held on the first Sunday of June, will not be held for the second consecutive year.

According to A.L. “Junior” Pichon, former St. Tammany Parish Councilman and chairman and master of ceremonies for the races for nearly 30 years, access to the Bayou Liberty boat launch area is extremely limited during the construction of nearby St. Genevieve Catholic Church.

“We looked at maybe holding the races on the other side of the bayou, but that has too many problems,” Pichon said. “But we’ll be back in our old spot next year, for sure.”

The oldest pirogue racing competition in the state, the Bayou Liberty Pirogue Championships were originally organized as a fundraiser for the church and, since that time, also have supported playground maintenance at the Bayou Liberty Civic Center.
Since then the contest has become a destination race for paddlers from as far away as Mississippi and Hahnville.

St. Genevieve Catholic Church, destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, is being rebuilt on its original site. It will measure nearly 12,000-square-feet and be able to accommodate more than 500 parishioners.

The new church will cost $3 million, plus another $1 million to outfit, once it has been built. The Archdiocese of New Orleans has set aside about $2 million for the construction. Fundraisers by parishioners have been ongoing.

Though disappointed at the cancellation, organizers vow that the Bayou Liberty Pirogue Championships will return.

“This is part of our heritage,” Pichon said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pending coast guard approval , the races are on for June 3 ,2012!