Thousands would line up to watch the Cattle Festival Parade on Charity Street in Abbeville.
Cattle Festival canceled
With all that goes into preparing for a festival, coupled with the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, many festival organizers around the state are in evaluation mode.
A decision on a long-standing Vermilion Parish tradition that is held each year in Abbeville has already been made.
Louisiana Cattle Festival President Francis Plaisance announced Thursday morning that the 72nd Annual Louisiana Cattle Festival would be not be held in its regularly scheduled time in October.
“Due to unfortunate circumstances involving the COVID-19 virus,” Plaisance said, “the Louisiana Cattle Festival Board has decided to canceled the 72nd Annual Louisiana Cattle Festival, scheduled for October 1-4, 2020.”
Plaisance said this is an unprecedented move by the organization.
“The Festival has been rescheduled but never canceled in its 72-year history,” Plaisance said, “but for the health and safety of the community, it is necessary to do so this year.”
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has a Stay-at-Home order in effect through April 30. Groups of no more than 10 people and social distancing of at least six feet are measures that are being taken to help limit the spread of coronavirus.
“Large gatherings would only create more spread of the disease,” Plaisance said. “The Festival will continue to comply with the social distancing policies issued by the Governor and local officials.”
Plaisance added that members of the Cattle Festival board felt the normal steps needed to properly prepare for the festival are not right for this moment in time.
“The Board decided that asking sponsors to participate in this year’s festival would present undue burden at a time when employees are losing their jobs and businesses are struggling,” Plaisance said. “Also, it would be difficult to organize and get commitments to put on such a large festival.”
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell recommended this week that no large gatherings take place in the city for the remainder of 2020. Some festivals held annually in New Orleans have already announced cancellations for this year.
Organizers of the Delcambre Shrimp Festival announced this week that the event is still set for Aug. 13-16.
Plaisance said the decision on the Cattle Festival did not come easily.
“We appreciate the patience and understanding of all of our loyal festival supporters,” Plaisance said. “We look forward to the 2021 festival on the first weekend of October. You may direct any questions concerning the Festival or the Red Barn anytime to Francis Plaisance, President at (337) 652-0646 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.”