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Event Details

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Bayou Liberty Pirogue Championship
Sunday, Jun. 1, 2014
Held each year on the first Sunday in June

58203 Hwy. 433
Slidell, LA  70460

Local Phone: (985) 643-2581

 


Bayou Liberty Pirogue Championships - 2014

The 62nd Bayou Liberty Pirogue Championship welcomes pirogues and canoes onto beautiful Bayou Liberty near Slidell for races traditionally held on the first Sunday in June since 1952.

The day begins with a “Blessing of the Pirogues” at 12 noon followed by the competition 1pm-7pm at St. Genevieve Landing, located just four miles west of Slidell on Louisiana 433 at the Bayou Liberty Bridge crossing.

The event will feature competitive paddling, including: Men’s championship race; common boat race; two-man canoe race; women’s championship race; women over 40 race; men over 40 race; girls 13-16 and 8-12 races; and boys 8-12 and 13-16 races.

The oft hysterical blindfold race is also planned, wherein racers wear blindfolds and attempt to race 50 yards around a buoy.

The Bayou Liberty Pirogue Championship raffle will also be held; ticket holders can vie for a 14-foot Fiberglass pirogue and other prizes.

Various game, food and beverage booths also will be featured. Among the traditional race-day favorites being dished out will be gumbo, red beans and rice, hamburgers and hot dogs and snoballs. Ice chests are not allowed on the premises.

Music will be provided by Band of Brothers, and Big Al and the Heavyweights. Commemorative hats and T-shirts by popular area artist Phil Galatas will be available for purchase.

The Bayou Liberty Pirogue Race was founded in 1952 by the St. Genevieve Men's Club to raise money for Christmas presents for area children. The annual event was later taken on by the Bayou Liberty Civic Center's Men's Club. The event is coordinated today by Mike Pichon, son of the late Junior Pichon, a key founder of the competition who paddled at the tender age of 17 in the inaugural Bayou Liberty race and worked for nearly six decades to ensure the future of this traditional bayou sport.

The Bayou Liberty Civic Center suffered significant damage in Hurricane Katrina and again in Hurricane Isaac. Proceeds of the raffle and sales go toward rebuilding an 8-acre playground for area families. Images from the 2008 Bayou Liberty Pirogue race, the last race before St. Genevieve Church was deconsecrated and rebuilt, can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VX3MAvB2es.

For information on how to support this great community event, contact Mike Pichon at (985)643-2581.

(Photo by Amanda McCoy and story content by Carol Wolfram, The Times-Picayune archive)

DIRECTIONS:
St. Genevieve Landing is located just four miles west of Slidell, on Louisiana 433 at the Bayou Liberty Bridge crossing. From I-12 to Exit 80 to Northshore Blvd. to Hwy 190. Turn right onto 190/Gause Blvd. Follow west to Hwy 433/Thompson Rd., turn left. Follow Hwy 433 to St. Genevieve Catholic Church to park near the St. Genevieve boat launch.

Location: Bayou Liberty boat launch near St. Genevieve Catholic Church
Directions: From I-12 to Exit 80 to Northshore Blvd. to Hwy 190. Turn right onto 190/Gause Blvd. Follow west to Hwy 433/Thompson Rd., turn left. Follow Hwy 433 to St. Genevieve Catholic Church.
Hours: Blessing of the Pirogues at 12 pm, Races 1-7pm.
Admission: Free for spectators and racers alike
No. years event has taken place: 62



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